How it Happened
A poor start by SMU that the Mustangs couldn’t recover from spelled doom in SMU’s biggest home game to date. SMU was behind 11-4 at the 16-minute mark and didn’t score until the 11:11 mark. Both teams struggled with sloppy play during that stretch, but SMU only trailed 13-6 by that point. SMU had four turnovers from the 16-minute mark until the 11:11 mark. SMU got within four points at the 4:24 mark of the first half, but couldn’t ever complete a comeback.
The Razorbacks held a 33-22 edge at the half after a few runs by both teams. SMU made plenty of runs to try and come back, but just couldn’t finish. A Nic Moore turnover with just under two minutes to go sealed SMU’s fate. SMU didn’t completely fall apart, but instead of closing it to six, SMU fell behind by 10 and couldn’t finish the comeback.
What it Means
SMU now has to beat Michigan to have a chance to make the tournament as an at-large bid in my mind. An undefeated conference schedule may get it done, but unlikely. SMU fans saw how well SMU could play in conference last year, yet miss the tournament. SMU will likely have to win the conference tournament to get into the NCAA tournament.
Player of the Game
Keith Frazier took yet another step forward in his development tonight. Frazier finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two turnovers. It wasn’t enough, but where SMU saw the biggest growth in Frazier’s game was his energy. The crowd fed off it. Keith Frazier notched his career highs in the past two games. Frazier scored 17 points against Eastern Washington and even though he fell short of matching it Frazier finished with 16 points, one shy. Frazier’s career-high before this year was 11.
Yanick Moreira had just two points and four rebounds at the half, but finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Moreira’s improved game in the post helped SMU claw back into it in the second half.
SMU faces Texas Southern tomorrow night in Moody Coliseum at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN3/WatchESPN.