How it Happened
In a game that should have been a tune-up for TCU's visit to Moody on Wednesday, SMU struggled with turnovers and defending the 3-pointer for much of it before going on a 20-3 run in the second half.
SMU opened an 18-10 lead eight and half minutes in, with the help of 10 offensive rebounds. but six turnovers and zero offensive rebounds in the final 11:25 allowed Delaware State to come back within two at halftime, 32-30. SMU allowed Delaware State to start 7-for-15 on 3-point tries (finished at 41 percent) while also giving up points against a couple pick-and-roll looks.
Delaware State made its first three 3-pointers of the second half and held a 41-40 lead with 15:29 left in the game, but right after the Mustangs started their 20-3 run that gave them the double-digit lead for the rest of the game. During the run, Delaware State didn't make a field goal for nearly eight minutes, while SMU shot 6-for-8 from the floor in that span. SMU doubled Delaware State's rebounding total, 42-41. The Hornets entered the game allowed opponents to grab a nation-worst 43.8 percent of their misses.
What it Means
SMU's problems playing defense and turning the ball over still persisted against a weak opponent. It's a less than encouraging sign with 8-0 TCU coming to Moody Wednesday. SMU couldn't avoid a third straight game with more turnovers than assists (19 assists, 20 turnovers). The final two turnovers came with the walk-ons in, but in the first half, SMU had 10 assists and 11 turnovers. A lot of the turnovers came on bad decisions and unforced errors, rather than stout Delaware State defense. SMU needs to cut those down before it faces TCU's top-40 defense that forces a turnover on 26.2 percent of opponent possessions (fourth-best nationally).
Player of the Game
Ben Moore. The senior helped SMU stay in front for nearly the entire first half with four early offensive rebounds and was one of the team's better defensive players. He finished the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds and needed only seven field goal attempts. He also had two assists, two blocks and only 1 foul in 34 minutes.
Harry Froling had a career-high 11 points and didn't miss from the field. Also, Sterling Brown didn't pick up a foul until 7:06 left in the game. He played nearly 33 minutes without a foul and 38 minutes in total.
SMU hosts TCU Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT