How it Happened
After Houston's rough start to the game with a timeout and turnover, SMU and Houston traded baskets until SMU opened up a 17-point halftime lead. SMU got Houston starters Danrad Knowles and Damyean Dotson into foul trouble, allowing SMU to take advantage of the Cougars' missing a couple of their best players. Shake Milton was the lone Mustang in double-figures with 14 points. SMU held Houston's team to three or less points outside of Dotson and Rob Gray combining for 21 points in the first half. SMU was dominant for the most part without Houston's best on the floor.
In the second half, SMU and Houston got it going in the second half as through 8:43 of the second half, the teams combined to hit 12 of their 14 field goals. SMU was missing Jarrey Foster, who did not return from the locker room, but SMU opened up an even bigger lead. Instead of cruising to a win like the Mustangs did against Connecticut, SMU dominated with Milton's big day with 27 points and Semi Ojeleye adding 20 points. SMU shot a sizzling 65 percent from the field in the second half. SMU cruised to the 85-64 win.
What it Means
SMU battled without Jarrey Foster in the second half to move to 7-1 in AAC play. That's the big takeaway for SMU is that even with Foster gone for the second half, SMU flat out dominated even as Houston returned Dotson and Knowles to the floor. That's a good thing for Tim Jankovich to take away as the heads to Florida for its matchup against UCF.
Player of the Game: Shake Milton
The sophomore guard continued his impressive play as he notched 27 points on 6-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Milton also added five rebounds and five assists on the night. Milton was patient and took what the defense gave him, but made some real tough shots on the night. With Milton heating up and Ojeleye continuing to be impressive, SMU is hitting its groove at the right time.
Jarrey Foster did not return for the second half as he was kept back in the locker room. That'll be something to monitor as with SMU's tight rotation, injuries are something the team can't afford. Pony Stampede will have an update on Foster's status as soon as we can, but Foster left the game five points, two rebounds and an assist.
SMU plays heads to UCF on Wednesday at 5 p.m. CT on ESPNews.