How it Happened
SMU had a streak of about eight minutes where the Mustangs failed to score and had nine first half turnovers. It wasn't pretty at all to watch for SMU fans or either fans. Both teams had struggles scoring as SMU was 11 of 27 from the field in the first half and Tulane was six for 21 in the first half.
In the second half, it was still a lot of sloppy play by SMU, but the team turned it up at the right times to build a big lead by the end of the game. SMU did it without making more than just one three in the entire game. The Mustangs went 1-10 from three-point range. Instead, the team outrebounded Tulane 37-32 and outscored them in the paint 32-16 with Jordan Tolbert and Markus Kennedy going to work. SMU took advantage of 20 Tulane turnovers and limited Tulane's chances on SMU's turnovers as well. It was very sloppy, but SMU managed to pull out the 60-45 win.
What it Means
SMU remains undefeated, but now has a relatively quick turnaround for a big matchup Tuesday night against Houston. The team has a lot of tape to go over after a rough game, but luckily was just better coached and better than the Tulane squad.
Player of the Game
F Markus Kennedy: Kennedy came in off the bench and I thought really jumpstarted SMU as much as anyone today. While Tolbert had the better stat line, Kennedy was able to outphysical and back down Tulane's forwards all game. Everything in Kennedy's game was timely and when SMU needed it most.
SMU was without Nic Moore for the final 13:45 of the first half after he picked up two fouls. Moore had zero points in the first half. In the second half, Moore scored just two baskets, but went a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. SMU's offense wasn't great at all today and Nic had a lot of trouble getting them into a flow with all the turnovers and fouls.
SMU faces in-state rival Houston at Moody Coliseum on Tuesday at 8 pm CT.