SMU in the game in the first half while most of the team struggled to make shots and defend James Woodard. Cunningham drew fouls and finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds and three assists before fouling out. Cunningham also helped SMU hold Tulsa to just 16 points in the paint. A great effort in the senior’s final game in Moody Coliseum.
SMU was down 16-9 in the first half in points off turnovers, but in the second half, the team took better care of the ball, with seven turnovers. Tulsa was limited to just five points off turnovers in the second half. SMU got the extra points in the second half, having 10 points compared to Tulsa’s just two. That was the difference and SMU made the adjustments to clean up some of the sloppy play
3. Limiting “extra” points for Tulsa
1. Defending James WoodardWhenever Woodard shot the ball from beyond-the-arc, you felt like it was headed in. Woodard finished with 30 points and six rebounds, while only two other three-point attempts were made by the Golden Hurricane. SMU almost let turnovers, fouls and one player beat them, but were able to lock it down and finish.
Hear me out when I say SMU was not at all pushed around in this game, but the team lost its head a little bit in the paint after some physical play. Kennedy was heated after a few tough calls on him and took a seat on the bench for a minute. After that quick break towards the end of the game, Kennedy responded with a cooler head and made the plays to help SMU to the title. SMU can’t let the tournament’s physical play get to the head like that.
2. Being too physical