How it Happened
Though SMU didn't play the prettiest offense for much of the game, the Mustangs controlled TCU and its pressure defense from the start for a 74-59 win, its third straight and TCU's first loss of the season. SMU shot 44 percent from the floor, but held TCU to 42.6 percent. Semi Ojeleye led all scorers with 20 points and Shake Milton added 13.
SMU quickly built a lead with seven early points from Ojeleye. Its only deficit of the game was 3-1, less than two minutes into the game. SMU only shot 35.7 percent from the floor in the first half, but made 10 free throws, frequently forcing TCU's guards to foul on dribble drives. TCU never trailed by more than 12 points until the final two minutes, but also came within one possession just twice in the final 35 minutes. Whenever TCU made a couple consecutive baskets, SMU got one on the other end to prevent any kind of extended TCU run. After a 3-pointer and long 2-point jumper pulled TCU within 3, 48-45 with 9:36 left, Semi Ojeleye responded with a 3-point play. When SMU struggled to make baskets in the first half, it kept the lead with its ability to get to the foul line.
What it Means
Even though SMU's shooting numbers weren't great, it looked ready for TCU's tough defense. SMU drew 21 fouls and only committed five turnovers against the nation's third-best team forcing turnovers. TCU likes to hard hedge ball screens and make opposing guards move out, but SMU was ready for that as well. SMU won its last two games without great offense, and did so again Wednesday. Jankovich spent the last two practices stressing that his team would need to play tough defense and be aggressive on the glass. SMU did just that. Coming into the game, TCU's lowest point total was 77.
Player of the Game
Semi Ojeleye. Though he missed a couple dunks and was only 7-20 from the floor, Ojeleye got SMU going with his seven early points. His alley-oop 3-point play with 9:14 to go ended any momentum TCU built when it brought SMU's lead down to 3. TCU struggled defending him, allowing him to shoot a game-high eight free throws. Ojeleye also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Tom Wilson didn't record any playing time until the final 30 seconds and missed both free throw attempts he had. Had he not entered, it would have been the fourth time in 10 games he did not play.
SMU has a week off before hosting McNeese State on Dec. 14. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.