How it Happened
After having a rough night against Michigan, Semi Ojeleye responded with 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting on the night for SMU. The bounceback game for Ojeleye was matched by a solid effort from Ben Moore, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. The senior didn't have a great night percentage wise from the field, but the front court was able to get whatever shot the team wanted tonight. Even though SMU had 11 turnovers, a few coming in the last couple minutes, the team held UCSB in check with just six points off those turnovers. SMU used their size advantage to build a comfortable lead by dominating the paint and outrebounding UCSB 43-26 on the night.
What it Means
It's tough to take away much from a game like this. On the bright side for SMU, the team finished with 21 assists on 28 baskets tonight and the extra pass was in full force tonight. Shake Milton didn't have a great night shooting wise, but got his teammates involved, finishing with four assists, finishing second on the team to Jarrey Foster, who had seven. Nothing great, but SMU took care of business and jumped out on UCSB with a 17-point lead in the first half. That's the start SMU wanted and the Mustangs cruised from there, emptying the bench with a few minutes to go.
Player of the Game: Semi Ojeleye
Ojeleye responded with a big outing against inferior competition, but anytime you have a good night shooting the ball, it's a great thing. Ojeleye exited about midway in the second half, but 22 points and four rebounds on the night. Ojeleye was a mismatch for UCSB and took advantage, but also showed his range on 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
SMU continued to struggle from the free-throw line with nearly 30 attempts from the charity stripe, but only made 63 percent from the line. It seems like every year it's a theme, but SMU will need these free throws eventually. Tonight just wasn't their night.
The Mustangs head out to the west coast to face USC on Friday night at 6 pm CT on the PAC 12 Network.