How it Happened
SMU came out strong in their first half of the season. After seeing Lamar hang around for the first bit of the first half, but on a steal after back to back steals, the game turned for good in the Mustangs favor. Ben Emelogu got his second steal of the game and once again found Ben Moore for a monster slam. Emelogu threw it ahead to Ben Moore for the monster slam. On the very next pass, SMU got another steal and followed that up with a Ryan Manuel slam to blow the game open. The story of the first half was the two Ben’s for. Moore had 12 points and 5 assists just in the first half and finished the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds while Emelogu had 8 points and 3 steals. After half time, the Mustangs took advantage of some untimely turnovers by Lamar and got out in transition for some big dunks, as well as, some great ball movement in the half court that got Yanick Moreira and Ben Moore open jump shots.
What it means
SMU got the first game out the way in impressive fashion. While SMU did struggle with rebounding it was a good performance for them. This was more of a preparation game for the Mustangs with Gonzaga looming. Another significant moment of this game was SMU fans seeing a breakout game from Ben Moore filling in for Markus Kennedy. The athleticism Moore showed was a huge boost to this team. Moore finished the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds. He also added one block and steal.
SMU travels to play Gonzaga on Monday night at 10pm on ESPN/ESPN 2.
Ben Emelogu got the start, with Ryan Manuel off the bench first. Sterling Brown did not enter the game until 9 minutes left in the first half. Sterling Brown did play a fair amount in the game but I think many people were caught off guard he was not at least the first guy off the bench.
Player of the Game
Ben Moore filled in for Markus Kennedy and had a monster game that had Moody rocking. Right from tip off, Moore did everything for the Mustangs from throwing down monstrous dunks, to a few little jumps shots. Moore also crashed the boards for SMU and was one of the few bright spots on the rebounding end. The sophomore forward also gave SMU a different look when teamed up with Yanick Moreira. While Kennedy certainly has his strengths, SMU brought out a much more athletic front court that proved to be a huge mismatch in SMU’s favor. Play of the game
The first half was impressive but the play of the game came early in the second when Nic Moore threw a no look pass to Keith Frazier who tossed a great lob to Ben Moore. Just a perfect transition play.