How it Happened
Keith Frazier started out hot for SMU, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the first half. That got the SMU offense going with the rest of the team not having exactly stellar nights. In the second half, Frazier made a couple shots, but the offense completely fell apart after Nic Moore exited with a leg injury. Yanick Moreira went to work in the second half though after having just two points. Moreira was matched up against Alan Williams, one of the better big men in the country and handled him very well, forcing him to foul out.
Moreira finished with 14 points and three rebounds on the night plus a block. When SMU allowed UCSB to come back and take the lead, Moreira responded by going to work in the paint. Moreira has now held two of the better big men in the country to average nights. While SMU was not at all impressive offensively, the team only turned the ball over seven times in the game and once in the second half, a plus without Moore in the game.
SMU held to UCSB to just four points in overtime. That defense was huge as SMU knocked down a few timely shots and Ben Emelogu made two key free throws plus a jumper to make the lead eight at one point. In the final two minutes, SMU locked it down on defense and held on for the win. Ryan Manuel was aggressive all night and took care of the ball for the most part.
What it Means
When SMU is without Nic Moore, watch out. This team fell apart, but rallied to get the win in Moody. The Moody crowd was clearly a big part of the win and SMU will look to get Nic Moore healthy with some time off before their game against UIC, which is huge. SMU has some work to do when working out of the half court without Moore, but it was a big win for SMU.
Player of the Game
Yanick Moreira: While Frazier responded with a heck of a night after his poor outing against Wyoming, Moreira dominated Alan Williams. While the stat sheet didn’t show it at the half, Moreira had a huge impact defensively. In the second half, Moreira stepped it up in the paint big time and willed SMU to the win.
Before Justin Martin’s missed free throw, SMU was an impressive 13 for 13 from the line. The team finished with 28 of 36 from the line.
SMU concludes its seven game homestand by hosting UIC on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.