How it Happened
It wasn’t pretty but the Mustangs held on for a tight 70-66 victory over Colorado. SMU struggled throughout the game with turnovers and poor shot selection but were able to come up with some timely buckets late to hold on for a close four point win. Colorado came out firing in the first half hitting their first five threes, however, SMU settled in on the defensive end and made life difficult for the Buffalos as the half went along. SMU held Colorado to 36 percent shooting en route to a 35-30-halftime lead. Markus Kennedy provided a big boost for SMU early with six points and four rebounds in the first half but it was the balanced effort from everyone that helped SMU grab a first half lead. After 20 minutes, every player was in the scoring column except for Sterling Brown who chipped in a couple rebounds and assists. Colorado continued to stick around in the second half thanks to some poor shot selection and poor three-point defense by SMU. Midway through the second half, the Buffalos went on a 14-0 run with SMU going cold coupled with a couple of untimely turnovers to take the lead. Late in the game however, it was time for Moore to get going and that he did finishing the game with 16 points and 4 assists. Ben Moore also chipped in 7 points and 9 rebounds for the undefeated Mustangs.
What it Means
SMU finishes the non-conference portion for now with a perfect 11-0 record and their best start in school history.
Player of the Game
Shake Milton: The talented freshman showed once again why SMU fans have been so excited for him to get to campus and for the next four years. Milton hit a number of timely shots throughout the second half and was one of the few players who didn’t force shots. Milton finished the game with 14 points and 5 rebounds while also giving Nic Moore a significant break in the second half running the point.
Keith Frazier and Markus Kennedy both played significant minutes but did not start the game as they were both still nursing injuries.
SMU starts conference play on when it travels to Tulsa on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. CT.