How it Happened
This one was over quickly, as SMU led 50-20 at the half. Beileve it or not, New Hampshire led 5-2 a minute and a half into the game. But then SMU got rolling. Ben Moore did some of the early work, getting three offensive rebounds in the game's first seven minutes and putting two of them back for layups. He also assisted on SMU's first two baskets. SMU shot 60 percent from the field in the first half, a mixture of high-percentage layups and Keith Frazier's lights-out shooting. Four different SMU players found Jordan Tolbert for a dunk, and then Frazier scored 15 points in the final 6:49 of the first half as the Mustangs ended the first half on a 18-2 run. He made all four of this three-point attempts in that span. New Hampshire could not match up with SMU's defense either, shooting just 25 percent on two-point attempts in the first half. The Wildcats' big men were just not atheltic or agile enough to score on SMU's frontcourt.
What it Means
Above all, the game proved something we already knew. SMU is good. New Hampshire is bad. But SMU still played its best half of the season. In peak offensive form, the Mustangs had only four first-half turnovers, assisted on eight of their first 10 made three-pointers and made the Wildcats three primary big men all foul out with about six minutes left. This was destined to be a mismatch on paper and SMU could have played a bad game and still won, but it came out focused and wasted no time building a big lead. It's hard to take away too much because New Hampshire is way worse than SMU in every area. SMU needed Keith Frazier to bounce back after a scoreless game at TCU, and he did. He needs more consistency and games like today
Player of the Game
Keith Frazier. The junior's 20 first-half points were the most by an SMU player in a first half since Paul McCoy in 2008. He scored 15 points in a span of five minutes in the first half and hit five of seven three point attempts in the half. He kick-started SMU's scorching 14-of-25 day from three. He's had two impressive games this year, and this one after his worst game of the season. He finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Despite the game quickly reaching blowout status early, Sed Barefield did not play until the final two minutes. Wilfong came in again in the first half, but he's not "playing over" Barefield because Barefield only plays point guard.
SMU hosts Michigan Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at Moody Coliseum. The game is on ESPN2.null