Matt Visinsky

Rapid Reaction: SMU Mustangs vs. ECU Pirates

Billy has your rapid reaction to SMU's win over East Carolina.

How it Happened

SMU started pretty well, building a 16-4 lead over East Carolina at the under-16 timeout. It was Ben Moore and Jordan Tolbert had 10 of SMU's first 16 points on the night and held a 7-0 rebound advantage to start the game. East Carolina couldn't really bring it in the paint against SMU, getting outscored 36-18 and outrebounded 42-22. SMU did allow ECU to hang around with terrible decisions and passes at times, but overall, this was a matchup of two teams that are on different levels. 

ECU had some times when they threatened by closing the gap to six, but SMU came out after having just a seven-point lead at the half to roll 79-55. ECU made just 30 percent of their three-point shot attempts, but still had plenty that were just too open for SMU fans to like. That's something the team has to continue to work on. In the paint, it was a pretty dominant defensive performance.

What it Means

With SMU's first long road trip of AAC play, Nic Moore nicked up, and Markus Kennedy having to fly in the day of, there was a chance this game could be a trap. SMU moved on to 16-0 and guaranteeing a winning season in their pursuit of perfection. ESPN now features a "pursuit of perfection" bug at the top left I guess when SMU plays now. Kennedy is not 100 percent. That's another thing we now know. Hopefully, with his exam and J-Term out of the way, he'll be able to shake out of this funk.

Player of the Game

F Ben Moore: Moore continued to play at a high-level with his 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting, six rebounds and four steals while not fouling once. Moore's passing was probably the best out the big men tonight, who struggled at times with not turning the ball over.

Side Note

SMU and East Carolina both took advantage of their turnover-filled nights. SMU had 17 points on 12 ECU turnovers and ECU had 16 points on SMU's 14 turnovers. Luckily for SMU, the team had just five second-half turnovers.

What's Next?

SMU faces Tulane on the road on Sunday, January 17 at 2 pm CT on ESPN3.

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