Semi Ojeleye (Photo by Matt Visinsky)

Three Takeaways: SMU vs. UCF

SMU used a strong second half to beat UCF 70-59 and advance to the AAC Tournament Championship game.

SMU spreads the scoring in the second half

SMU has relied on Semi Ojeleye's offense heavily in recent games. He put up 36 points and 12 rebounds against ECU, carrying the team for much of the game. SMU depended a lot on Ojeleye in the first half of this game. He scored 10 of the team's 26 first half points, and non-Ojeleye Mustangs shot just 6-19 from the field. The second half was a different story. Sterling Brown became more assertive on offense and Shake Milton's shot began to fall. Ojeleye did not score until there was 4:58 left in the second half, and SMU's balanced offensive attack was a big reason why they were able to pull away in the second half. Ojeleye's scoring is a great fail-safe, but SMU is at their best when everyone is attacking.

SMU contains Tacko Fall

Tacko Fall, despite is 7'6" frame, was not a huge factor in this game. In 28 minutes Fall scored five points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots. SMU defended Fall by putting a man behind and in front of him when he posted up, preventing him from getting good position. When he did catch the ball, SMU sent double teams his way, and Fall did not beat them with his passing. Fall's only two buckets came on a putback dunk and an easy jam off of a pick and roll catch. He played a few good possessions on defense in the first half, but ultimately SMU took advantage of his lack of speed to produce open shots.

No Bench Production

AAC co-6th Man of the Year Ben Emelogu was very quiet this game. He did not score, and recorded just two rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes. Tim Jankovich did not play any of his other bench players. This put a large workload on SMU's starters. Ben Moore, Semi Ojeleye, Shake Milton and Sterling Brown all played 35 or more minutes, with Brown playing all 40. SMU will have to play their third game in a row tomorrow against Cincinnati or UConn, and the starters will be tired. 

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