1. The Comeback
Wow. Nic Moore referenced the comeback against Temple last year as the loudest he's heard Moody Coliseum, but I'd have to disagree. Down 55-48 with 4:10 to go, SMU battled back and it did it with defense and Nic Moore's three-pointer. Even the final basket first touched Nic's fingers before Jordan Tolbert tipped it back in for the one-point lead. Tolbert's block on the other end put the exclamation point on the win for SMU. Markus Kennedy said it best, "winning time." That was the motto in the huddle. With the defense SMU rolled out, most teams in the country would have had a problem closing this one out. SMU is 43-3 at Moody Coliseum since the start of the 2013-14 season.
2. Shot Selection
Outside of a Shake Milton shot clock violation, SMU did a phenomenal job getting good looks at the basket. The team shot better overall in the first half, going 11 of 20 before going 11 of 23 in the second, but SMU finally saw some threes drop. The team had to have good possessions and after taking a few minutes to get into the offense, the team did a great job getting aggressive and going to the basket. In the first half, they forced a couple things here and there, but overall, they were patient and did a phenomenal job picking their spots once the team got into the offense.
3. Big Block Party
SMU blocked 11 shots tonight. That's an incredible feat and while the team was outscored in the paint and outrebounded, the bigs played their best game of the year in my mind. Forget about Kennedy's two points on 1 of 4 shooting. Kennedy still grabbed six rebounds and three assists. That's good stuff when you're hurting with an ankle. The trio including Ben combined for nine of the 10 blocks. Jarrey Foster got the other. It's an up because when they needed it the most, the team locked it down in the block.
1. Slow Start
Before the game, I was told that the team didn't really have its act together and there would be a good chance we'd see a team come out and be flat. The team didn't get it going at all offensively and struggled with turnovers. The team had 17 turnovers in the game and it nearly cost them. Luckily, the team has some phenomenal senior leadership that helped them to the win. After the week the team had, it wasn't a surprise the way the team came out, but they righted the ship eventually to get the win.
2. Free Throws
It was almost the difference. SMU made just 10 of 19 free throws. This one isn't as close as it was down the stretch if the team makes a couple from the charity stripe. Ben Moore had a tough night going 5 of 10 from the line. With a short bench and SMU getting ahead in the count so to speak on fouls, the team has to take advantage in the future.
3. The Ejection
It was pretty lame, but it was the right call. Sterling Brown should know better than to do that, but it also falls on the staff to pull him back and be proactive. Brown is a junior and he's got to be smarter especially with only seven scholarship players. On to the next though...