No. 1 Up: Rebounding was still solid
SMU entered Wednesday’s game with an average rebound margin of plus-13.2 and even when SMU was trailing by 20 points SMU was out rebounding the Broncos. The Mustangs went on an incredible 12-0 run to open up the second half and part of that run was that SMU kept Boise State off the boards. Both teams were tied at 15 rebounds each in the first half, but SMU ultimately finished with 14 more rebounds than the Broncos (39 to 25).
No. 2 Up: Aggressiveness out of halftime
Again, SMU responded to Boise’s 44-24 first half lead with a 12-0 run that brought the comeback back into the realm of possibility. SMU was never able to get much closer than that though, especially with SMU simply unable to hit from long range.
No. 3 Up: Ben Moore
The senior forward did just about everything he could for SMU Wednesday night. He came alive in the second half and was the focal point of the Mustangs comeback, finishing with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks. And while Semi Ojeleye poured in an additional 15 points, the lack of perimeter shooting did SMU in Wednesday night.
No. 1 Down: Perimeter Defense
The Broncos shot 60 percent from the field in the first half and were 45.5 percent from 3-point range. Those percentages got down to normal levels after the second half—especially with how SMU decided to come out of the locker room for the final 20 minutes, but the damage had been done and the Mustangs desperately fought to dig themselves out of a 20-point deficit for the rest of the game. Boise State finished the night 46.3 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from long range.
No. 2 Down: Ball Security
SMU couldn’t take care of the ball early on and committed eight turnovers in the opening half and only managed three assists. They cleaned it up a bit in the second half but still finished with more turnovers than assists (16 to 9).
No. 3 Down: Couldn’t hit from long range or the charity stripe
Sterling Brown hit the first three of the night for SMU with 19 seconds left to. Not only was it their first, but it was SMU’s only three of the night. SMU only attempted 10 threes, but given that they were down for most of the night, it was surprising that the Mustangs didn’t start taking more threes. SMU also struggled from the free throw line. The Mustangs were 11-for-22 from the line, which has to hurt a lot more given how close the game ended up being.