How it Happened
SMU played a much more efficient game offensively, committing only 10 turnovers and dishing out 20 assists. Nic Moore led the way with 22 points, and Keith Frazier added 17. SMU struggled early with rebounding, but finished with 36 rebounds, 12 of which were offensive. Sterling Brown led with 11 rebounds. SMU shot 49 percent and made 15 of 16 free throws.
What it Means
The reduced turnovers bode well, but SMU still needs to defend the three-pointer better and rebound better. A smaller and less athletic Eastern Washington team beat the Mustangs on the offensive glass, grabbing 15 offensive boards. SMU should be pleased with its defensive effots in the paint. The Mustangs made EWU uncomfortable in the paint, forcing the Eagles to take some contested threes. Venky Jois shot five for eight from the floor for the Eagles, but committed four turnovers, largely due to SMU’s tough defense in the paint.
Player of the Game
Keith Frazier. In what might have been his best game in an SMU uniform, Frazier scored 17 points and shot seven for eight. He made smart decisions with when to shoot and when to pass up a shot, and did not turn the ball over once. The sophomore also added three rebounds.
Justin Martin left with an ankle injury in the first when he intentionally fouled an EWU player near half-court. He immediately went to the floor and walked off the court on crutches. Coach Brown said after the game that the injury could cost Martin significant time, although the team is awaiting confirmation.
THE Mustangs have another home date on Tuesday, Nov. 26, when they take on a tough Arkansas team.