1. Nic and Nick. When SMU needed a bucket or a steal or just about anything else, the guys to go to were Nic Moore and Nick Russell. Russell's 11 points in the first half kept SMU in the game. When they came out of the half, Moore erased all memories of his two-point first half by scoring the Mustangs' first 11 points of the second half to single-handedly give SMU the lead. SMU would have stood no chance without the play of these two, who have anchored the Mustangs all season.
2. Markus Makes Mark. After a few low profile performances, Markus Kennedy put his fingerprints all over this game. He was extremely aggressive on both offense and defense from the outset, clearly excited about his matchup with the Tigers' vaunted front court. His stats were not eye-popping (13 points, six rebounds, one block, and a steal) but his inside presence was vital to SMU's success today.
3. Threes for Days. SMU had been struggling from three-point range for a while now but tonight marked a big turnaround in its fortunes from downtown. The Mustangs made nine of 14 three pointers, good for 64.3%. When your shooters are firing from long range, it makes playoff games much easier.
1. First Half Defense. SMU allowed LSU to shoot above 50% from the field in the first half, which resulted in the Mustangs trailing by five at the break. The Mustangs came out sluggish to start the game and against a better opponent next round such a half could haunt them.
2. Yanick. After all the drama leading up to this game for him, Yanick Moreira had a dud of an appearance today. He had one rebound and one foul on the stat sheet in five uneventful minutes. He was blocked on his only shot attempt, showing he has yet to regain the explosiveness he had before his knee injury. But at least his playing time complaints should be placated.
3. Free Throw Shooting. Even in an overall effort that should be lauded, SMU struggled badly from the free throw line once again. They shot five-of-12 from the free throw line. If SMU faces Arkansas in a rematch on Wednesday, they will need to hit its shots from the charity strike.