3 Up, 3 Down: SMU vs. Houston

We share three positives and three negatives from SMU's loss!

3 Up

1. Cannen Cunningham. While Cannen Cunningham, didn't play so hot in the second half, Cunningham finished with 14 points and five rebounds. With Williams struggling mightily and Yanick Moreira failing to do anything productive, Cunningham carried the team in the first half and was a big presence in the post, dominating in the first half. Markus Kennedy had 10 points and eight rebounds, but was hurt for part of the second half. Cunningham pretty much wasn't a factor in the second half. Cunningham bounced back from a rough game against Memphis to have a pretty good day though.

2. Keithhhhh. Out of all of the guards, Keith Frazier had the best game in my mind. Frazier finished with eight points and four rebounds and got extended minutes in the first half especially, but towards the end of the game, he wasn't on the floor as much. When Houston would go on a run, Frazier was there to make a couple key threes for SMU. Moore struggled, Sterling Brown was in-and-out of the game, Nick Russell was okay except for his free throws and Ryan Manuel didn't contribute much. With the NCAA Tournament looming, SMU will need Frazier to make some big shots and if he plays with the same energy then that he did today, SMU will have extra help in the scoring department that they need.

3. Smart Play. SMU took pretty good shots for the most part, turned the ball over just 10 times and didn't get into much foul trouble especially in the first half. The shots just weren't falling today and Nic Moore went 0-8 from the field, something that can't happen for SMU to be successful. If SMU plays this smart basketball that they did today, the shots will hopefully fall for SMU if the team still makes the tournament.

3 Down

1. 3-Point Defense. From the start, Houston's Jherrod Stiggers was able to get hot quickly, going 5-9 from three-point range and finishing with 19 points. The Cougars shot 47 percent from three-point range for the day. Everytime SMU would go on a run or get close, it seemed like Stiggers or L.J. Rose, who was 3-3 from three-point range, would make a three that would keep Houston up in the second half. SMU didn't close out well on three-point shots and will have to contest more shots to limit the big shots for other teams.

2. 2nd Half. SMU was outscored 22-8 at one point in the second half after finishing with a 16-6 run in the first half. The Mustangs came out a little flat in the second and couldn't make any of the shots they were in the second half. After having just four fouls in the first half, the team finished with 15 and some of them came when Houston was on runs and SMU couldn't afford them. SMU has to close out games and although the team shot well from the free-throw line, the team needed to make a few key free-throws at the end and couldn't.

3. Nic Moore. After being named to the first-team All-American Athletic Conference team, Nic Moore had one of his worst games on the year, going 0-8 from the field and finishing with eight points and two rebounds. While Moore added seven assists and got to the line, this wasn't the Nic Moore SMU was used to and the team will need him to make shots in the tournament if the team wants to advance. Shawn Williams was also a non-factor with two points and one rebound, but Moore is SMU's best player and he didn't show it today.

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