How it Happened
This game came down to two defensive teams battling it out in a physical American Conference matchup. Shots were tough to find, but turnovers were frequent from the moment the game started with 21 total turnovers in the first half. In the second half, SMU watched Ryan Manuel come to life offensively with a couple nice drives to the basket but again struggled with turnovers. On one noticeable stretch, Nic Moore had his pocket picked by Farad Cobb, who took it back for the easy layup. On the very next play, Cobb stole one away from Markus Kennedy that eventually led to a three and a 5-point lead for the Bearcats. That lead would hover at around 8 for much of the second half after a 15-4 run for the Bearcats. SMU, however, was able to stay in the game largely due to Ryan Manuel who continued to drive hard to the bucket and even a few plays from Markus Kennedy, although he largely struggled again. SMU tried to make a run late in the game but just couldn’t slow down Farad Cobb who had 18 points, a lot of those coming in the second half. In the end the Bearcats walked away with a 56-50 win.
What it Means
SMU let one get away today after they couldn’t put away the Bearcats in the first half. The Mustangs had their opportunities to extend their lead, which was at one point 9, but they will now have to regroup with another tough, and now big matchup, against Memphis coming up on Thursday.
Player of the Game
Ryan Manuel: Yanick Moreira got off to a fast start for SMU but SMU got a big lift in the second half from Ryan Manuel who had 12 points in the second half. SMU likely wouldn’t have been able to stick in this game if it weren’t for Manuel being able to score during the Bearcats big run in the second half.
Between SMU and Cincinnati, they had more combined turnovers than made shots in the first half with 21 turnovers compared to just 15 made shots.
SMU will return home for a matchup Thursday night against Memphis at 8 p.m