Two words: Nic, Moore.
Moore was feeling it- so much so that he didn’t attempt a single shot from inside three-point range. It was the fifth straight game and the 16th overall this season, in which Moore scored 10 points or more.
He also tallied six assists- the fourth consecutive game and the 13th this season in which he registered five or more assists.
By the time Moore sat down on the bench, the Mustangs were well in the lead and had shot in impressive 72 percent from the field. To reiterate, all 11 of his shots came from three-point range
The dude balled so hard on Saturday that it made me wonder if he hates Houston. Remember how I said he tied a career high in points- he set that high against Houston last season.
Moore has now played Houston four times and has averaging 20 points a game. If you ignore his eight point performance in the conference tournament then you get a 24 PPG average against Houston in three regular season games. Although before Saturday night, he had only three made three-pointers against the Cougars.
Moreira and Brown were one rebound away from double-doubles, but Brown was also three assists away from a triple-double. His seven assists are a career high and his 11 points mark the third time he has reached double digit scoring this season.
Moore was certainly shooting the lights out, but the Mustangs as a team shot well; SMU shot 51.9 percent from the floor- the tenth time this season they shot above 50 percent. It should be no surprise that SMU is 9-1 when shooting that well. And that they even shot above fifty percent isn’t that surprising either as their season average of 48.7 is first in the AAC.
As nice as their efficient scoring has been, the unsung hero during this stretch of winning 14 of their last 15, has been the defense.
Against Houston, SMU finished with a field goal percentage margin of 16.7 percent. Entering Saturday’s contest, they boasted a conference leading 10.8 percent field goal percentage margin.
SMU also outrebounded Houston 43-24. That marks the 18th time this season the Mustangs have outrebounded an opponent; they are 16-2 in those games. SMU also holds the top spot in the conference with a rebound margin of eight.
One of Larry Brown’s favorite things to say is that he wants the guys to “play hard, play together, and play smart…it’d be nice if they could defend and rebound too.”
Well his Mustangs are 7-1 to start conference play- their best start since 1992. They have won six straight conference games (also the first time since 1992). They have won 10 at home this season and 30 of their last 32.
They are playing hard, they are playing together, they are playing smart, and they are defending and rebounding better than anyone in the conference.
Even if he doesn’t show it during post game pressers, Larry has to be happy with how his team has performed in conference play so far.