SMU runs past TCU

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, November 9th, 2013

TCU SMU Basketball.JPEG-05699

By Dic Humphrey

DALLAS, Texas – Newcomers Nic Moore and Keith Frazier paved the way to a 69-61 SMU victory over TCU Friday night at American Airlines Arena.  SMU took the lead for good with 14 minutes left in regulation and held on for the win in the season opener for both teams.  Moore, who was named Player of the Game, led the Ponies in scoring with 13 points, followed closely by Ryan Manuel with 12 and Frazier with 11 in his collegiate debut.  Moore and another newcomer Yanick Moreira led the Mustangs with eight rebounds.  The win was the third straight for SMU over the Frogs, and brings the all-time series record to 104 wins for SMU and 85 for TCU.
SMU scored the first nine points of the game and quickly raced out to a double-digit lead.  In a little over eight minutes, the Ponies led 18-6.  TCU shot their way back into the game with three pointers.  They caught the Mustangs with 21 seconds left in the half to head into intermission tied at 30.  The Horned Frogs finished the half knocking down five long rangers to account for 50% of their first half points.
In the second half, TCU scored the first six points to take their first lead of the game, and 36-30 proved to be their biggest lead of the game.  SMU scrambled back and re-took the lead at 43-41 on a Nic Moore three pointer.  The game was nip and tuck the rest of the way, but SMU never trailed again.
TCU is missing three post players to injury, and SMU took advantage outscoring the Frogs 30-10 in the paint, and out-rebounded TCU 39-34, with 16 offensive rebounds.  The Mustangs could have put the game away sooner had they hit free throws.  They finished the night making 13 of 22 (59.1%).  TCU stayed in the game on the strength of their shooting from the charity stripe.  They made 19 of 22 (86.4%).
Overall, Brown played 11 players, seven of which were making their SMU debut.
SMU Head Coach Larry Brown said about the win afterward, “I’m not ecstatic to be honest with you.”  He noted that TCU played a lot of zone defense.  “He (TCU coach Trent Johnson) never plays zone.  We weren’t prepared for the zone.”
He was particularly disappointed in the Mustangs play after taking the 12 point lead.  “We had an 18-6 lead and the chance to blow the game open, then we played like it was the summer time.  Quick shots and turnovers.”
He was complimentary of the Horned Frogs, noting that their injuries.  “They’re going to be good.  This is a good win for us.”
Highly touted freshman Keith Frazier scored three three-pointers, including two of the three that SMU made in the first half.  Brown was pleased with Frazier’s 18 minutes of play.  “There’s not a shot that he doesn’t think he can make.  He’s like a young colt.  He just wants to play.  The more Keith plays, the better he’ll get.  The offensive part he’s figured out.  He’s got to figure out the rest of the game.”
Conspicuously absent from the SMU bench was the very talented Jalen Jones from Dallas Kimball High School.  Brown responded to inquiries about Jones, saying “We’re going to talk about that.  He wants to be a starting forward and play 35 minutes a game.  That may not be in the cards here.”  Speculation has it that Jones’s SMU basketball career is over.
SMU next plays Monday night at the Curtis Cullwell Center in Garland against Rhode Island.  A week later, they face Arkansas in Fayetteville in preparation for the Corpus Christi Challenge Tournament, in which the Mustangs lead off with a ranked Virginia team.  “We’re introducing those young kids in a hurry,” Brown said about the schedule.
Attendance for the three games totaled 5,207.
In the finale of the three game set, Baylor beat Colorado 72-60 in a battle of ranked teams.  The Bears, winners of last year’s National Invitation Tournament, and the Buffaloes, an NCAA Tournament team last season, were certainly the biggest teams in the Tip-Off Classic.  It was a ruggedly played game at a slow pace, but Baylor took control of the game early and never trailed in the second half.
Baylor’s Kenny Cherry (14), Cory Jefferson (13), Gary Franklin (12) and Taurean Prince (10) led the Bears’ scoring charge.  Colorado’s Josh Scott was high point man with 15, Wes Gordon had 11, and Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker each scored 10.  Cherry and Jefferson were named “Co-Players of the Game”.
In the first game of the day, Oklahoma came from behind to beat Alabama 82-73.  The Crimson Tide started fast, actually leading by as many as 12 points.  The Sooners came back to actually take the lead twice in the first half, before heading to the locker room trailing by one at 41-40.
In the second half, the teams sparred for the first five minutes at which point the game was tied at 49.  From that point, the Sooners gradually took over, though the Tide didn’t go easily.  The Oklahoma lead was still just three points with 4:57 left.  The Sooners finished the game with a 13-7 run.  Oklahoma’s biggest lead was 10 points at the 1:00 minute mark.
Four Sooners scored in double digits, with Buddy Hield leading the way with 19.  Ryan Spangler was next with 15.  He also grabbed a dozen rebounds to earn “Player of the Game” honors.  Cameron Clark (14) and Jordan Woodard (10) were the other double digit scorers.  Highland Park High School’s James Fraschilla made a brief appearance.  He’s a junior walk-on and the son of ESPN basketball commentator Fran Fraschilla.
Alabama guard Algie Key led all scorers with 20 points.  Retin Obasohan (14), Trevor Releford (12) and Rodney Cooper (10) also tallied double digit scoring totals.  Obasohan had a “double-double” by adding 10 rebounds, tying teammate Nick Jacobs for Alabama’s high rebounders.
It was the season opener for both teams, so the Sooners will host North Texas Monday night with a 1-0 record.  Alabama’s (0-1) next game is Tuesday night at home against Texas Tech in a nationally televised game on ESPN.

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