1. Nic MooreThe one and only Nic Moore stepped up everywhere for SMU tonight. Moore made a couple threes in the first half from way outside and then started sharing the ball with seven assists. Moore had one turnover and zero fouls. That’s so important for SMU’s point guard with the limited guard depth. SMU will need Moore to continue to play like this for the rest of AAC play. Markus Kennedy coming back, but Cunningham had seven points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 19 minutes. Kennedy had the hot hand in the first half, but Cunningham sealed SMU’s win with his play in the second.
The second-half was a solid display of defense from SMU. Tulane still got some open looks for three, especially late, but overall, SMU didn’t allow the same offensive boards that plagued the team early in the game and allowed Tulane to hang around. SMU forced poor shot selection by the Green Wave and because of that, was able to get the win.
3. Second-half defense
1. Three-point defenseToo many times tonight there was a Tulane shooter open and for a team that really makes its living off the three-ball. Tulane was 4-for-11 in the first half and it looked like something could really hurt SMU, but luckily for the Mustangs, Tulane fell cold.
Not going to harp here because every SMU fan knows Ben Emelogu is struggling, but the fouls cannot happen. Emelogu had four fouls and three of SMU’s just nine turnovers. Emelogu had zero points. Hopefully, Emelogu can shake this.
2. Ben Emelogu
Luckily for SMU, Tulane made this more of their problem in this chippy game, but SMU had their fair share of problems with Markus Kennedy and Cannen Cunningham with four fouls. Plus Ben Moore had two fouls in the first half. Moreira ended the game with just one foul, which was nice, but SMU’s depth in the front court can’t become an issue with fouls if depth in the back court is already an issue.
3. Bigs in foul trouble