Rapid Reaction: SMU Mustangs vs. Houston Cougars

Billy has your rapid reaction following SMU's win over Houston.

How it Happened

It was a back and forth half with Houston leading by as much as eight in the first half and led most of the second half. Nic Moore led SMU back in the first half to tie the game at 40 at the half. SMU gave up too many second chance opportunities as Houston had double-digit offensive rebounds in the first half, but in the second, SMU took advantage of their own. SMU had 15 points to just two for Houston off turnovers and won the second chancing scoring 21-18.

Markus ennedy went to work in the second half and with Nic Moore's timely shooting, SMU was able to come back even as Ben Moore and Kennedy found themselves in foul trouble. Kennedy made a few big baskets down the stretch as well as some field goals to get the Moody crowd back into it. SMU and Houston traded threes down the stretch, but a Markus Kennedy basket with 42 seconds left from Shake Milton put SMU up five. Nic Moore made one of two free throws with 16.3 seconds left to get SMU back up five and pretty much seal the win. SMU held on in this one to win 77-73.

What it Means

SMU remains undefeated and gets a few days off before heading to Temple. The team was able to battle through two games of adversity to get to 18-0. SMU's players battled through their toughest game with foul trouble in a while and limited practice in the last few days to get the win. 

Player of the Game

Markus Kennedy: While Nic Moore made some huge shots as did Sterling Brown, Kennedy put the team on his back to grab some big rebounds and hit some timely baskets down the stretch. SMU didn't get much consistency out of its bigs tonight. Kennedy was the lone consistent one. Kennedy went 5-6 from the field and hit 6-8 free throws while grabbing 10 rebounds to help SMU to the win.

Side Note

After starting the season off so well with rebounding, it really has been a tough spot for SMU the past week at times with second chance opportunities. Three games in one week and a virus affecting most of the team and staff can do that.

What's Next?

SMU is at Temple on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. CT. The Mustangs then have a week before hosting Memphis on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m.

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