How it Happened
After a couple of sloppy early possessions for SMU, Shake Milton got SMU going in a big way with four three-point baskets and 14 points in the first half. SMU though was killed by their own turnovers and allowing Tulsa to heat up from three-point range. At the half, SMU led 41-35. SMU came out and cleaned things up for the most part to win 81-69. Nic Moore had a monster second half for SMU and Milton added 10 more in the second. The pair combined to really get SMU going even with the front court struggling with fouls. It was a great test of adversity with foul trouble and a pesky team that SMU knows they can be beat by. SMU was certainly rusty, but they battled and got the job done.
What it Means
With Cincinnati losing to open conference play, SMU took a good first step in the direction of a back-to-back AAC regular season title. Yes, it's early on, but as conference play gets here, you have to take advantage when others stumble. SMU managed to also battle through a lot of adversity against a team that desperately wanted to beat them.
Player of the Game
G Shake Milton: Is this even a question? Milton started 4-4 from three-point range in his return to Oklahoma. Milton got the start and proved that he should continue to get major minutes. Milton finished with 24 points on 8-of-9 shooting.
After having eight first half turnovers, SMU settled in and managed to have just three in the second half. It was also the second straight game that SMU was outscored in the paint. Tulsa outscored SMU 34-30.
SMU returns home to Moody Coliseum on Saturday, January 2 at 6:30 pm CT on ESPNews.