How it Happened
SMU built a 10-point lead quickly, relying on its defense and free throw shooting. After a season-worst 89-points allowed against Temple, SMU clamped down, especially in the paint. It had five blocks in the first half and held the Tigers to 33 percent shooting from the floor, including 17-of-47 (36 percent) from two-point distance. Most importantly, the Mustangs kept Memphis off the foul line. The Tigers entered Saturday averaging 28.1 free throw attempts per game, but took only seven in the first half against SMU. Offensively, SMU executed much better than it did agaisnt Temple. It consistently made extra passes, passing up a lot of three-point attempts in favor of extra passes or dribble drives. Memphis struggled to defend SMU in the paint, frequently leaving an SMU big man open off a pick and roll and allowing easy cuts to the basket. SMU's final margin of victory was 12 points, but the game wasn't close.
What it Means
SMU proved that its defensive lapses and offensive sloppiness were a fluke and not a sign of concern. Memphis isn't exactly an offensive juggernaut, but SMU made every shot, drive and pass harder for Memphis after Temple found space to shoot and move on Sunday. Nic Moore, who had made four of his last 22 threes and injured his shoulder against Temple, returned with a 22-point performance and made three of seven three-point attempts.
Player of the Game
Nic Moore. The senior busted out of his mini-slump and delivered another big game in front of the home crowd. He made two three-pointers from NBA range in the second-half, the second of which gave SMU a 25-point cushion.
SMU finished the first half with more free throw attempts (25) than field goal attempts (24). Memphis had three players finish the first half with three personal fouls apiece. Ricky Tarrant and Shaq Goodwin each fouled out.
SMU has a quick turnarond. The Mustangs play at Houston Monday at 7 p.m.