How it Happened
SMU started sluggishly and held just a 9-7 lead nearly halfway through the first half, but then the team went on a 7-0 run to widen the gap. SMU made three straight buckets to push the lead to 26-12 with just over two minutes left in the first half. UIC closed with a three-pointer, but Keith Frazier drew a foul on a three-point shot and made all three to end the first half at 29-15 SMU.
The teams began trading baskets in the second half before UIC went on a 10-0 run before Nic Moore made two free throws. SMU and UIC continued to go back and forth it seemed, but eventually SMU pulled away behind Keith Frazier and Justin Martin’s strong second halves. Starting from the 8:45 mark after a Lance Whitaker jumper and ending at 2:27 to go with a Tai Odiase dunk, SMU scored 11 points and held UIC scoreless. SMU cruised to the finish for the 67-46 win.
What it Means
SMU has a lot of work to do on the offensive end before Michigan. SMU played great defensively and even with 20 turnovers, held UIC to 11 points off turnovers. SMU’s guards were especially poor with the ball at times, with Keith and Nic both having four turnovers.
Player of the Game
Keith Frazier: Keith had four turnovers tonight, which tied with Nic Moore to lead the team, but Frazier’s overall night with 16 points, 10 rebounds and three assists showed another step in his progression to a more complete game.
SMU was 10 of 16 (62.5 percent) from the free throw line at the half, well below their season average of 76 percent from the line. In the second half, SMU went 10 of 13 from the line and finished making 20 of 29 (69 percent) from the line, the team’s second worst free-throw night.
SMU heads up to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take on the Michigan Wolverines at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday.