1. Nic MooreSMU needed a huge game from Nic Moore to grind out a win and got just that from the American Conference Player of the Year. Moore finished with 20 points, 5 assists and also had a couple crafty steals to lead the way for the Mustangs. In what was another chippy and intense game, Moore showed his growth from last year by keeping this team on track throughout the game and leading them to a big win and a date with either Memphis or Temple Saturday afternoon.
SMU’s ball movement throughout the game was terrific. The Mustangs finished the game with 16 assists to only 9 turnovers. Another key stat was 44 points in the paint which was largely due to the passing of many of SMU’s big men down low that led to layups. One of the big contributors with this was Ben Moore who finished with 4 assists on the afternoon.
3. Ball Movement
1. Ben EmeloguThe only Mustang not to score today was Ben Emelogu who again looked tentative while out on the court and had a couple curious plays for SMU. The story of Emelogu’s day came on a pass under the basket where he passed if off the back of the backboard and back out of bounds for a turnover. While not a lot of SMU players had great days, he was one of the few to truly struggle. He finished the game with 0 points and 2 rebounds.
The one and only reason East Carolina was able to stay in this game was due to their three-point shooting. On the day, ECU had 15 three-pointers to stay in this game. Some of them were absolutely great shots by ECU but there were certainly some threes where SMU was slow closing out. The Mustangs have got to get this fixed by tomorrow and certainly by the NCAA tournament after allowing good days from the outside in back to back games.
3. Perimeter Defense