SMU TOPPLES MUSTANGS

by Dan M | Posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

SMU Logo

BY:  Dic Humphrey

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas – Monday night in Moody Coliseum, SMU ran their winning streak to seven games with a 70-61 victory over the Midwestern State Mustangs.  SMU completed non-conference play with a 9-3 record.  The game is considered an exhibition for Midwestern State, so the loss does not count against their record.  They remain 10-3 for the season.

Nic Moore and Keith Frazier led SMU’s offensive charge with 23 and 14 points respectively, as Nic Moore showed no signs of the knee injury that has slowed him since the UC-Santa Barbara game.  He played 34 minutes.  Ben Moore also scored 10 points and pulled down a game and career high 13 rebounds for his first double-double in college.  Yanick Moreira was a point, a rebound and a block away from a triple-double as he had nine in each of those categories.  The nine blocks are a new SMU record.

SMU looked rusty from the nine day layoff around Christmas.  They shot less than 40% from the field (38.3%), but made more free throws (21) than Midwestern State shot (16).  They also looked uninspired at times, prompting head coach Larry Brown to say afterward, “I admire that team (Midwestern State).  I would’ve much rather been sitting on their bench.  They played hard.  They executed better.  They played like a better team.  We were fortunate to win this game.”

Midwestern State, a Division II team based in Wichita Falls, is a member of the Lone Star Conference, which they have won the last three years.  They have advanced to the “Elite Eight” in the Division II championship in each of the last three seasons.

On Monday night, they proved to be a formidable foe for SMU.  They are certainly more talented than SMU fans expected, and they played hard.  MSU knocked down six three point shots in the first half and led by as many as eight points.  SMU scrambled back to take a 36-34 lead at halftime.  In the second half, SMU made charges, but each time, Midwestern State rallied back, despite making just one of 11 three point tries.

Keith Frazier scored two straight baskets, the second a three pointer with 10:45 remaining in the game to take back the lead from Midwestern State at 50-48.  SMU never trailed again, but the Ponies largest margin in the game was the nine point differential in the final score.  Midwestern State held the lead for 9:31, while SMU held the lead for 27:04.

The game marked the Moody Coliseum debut of Markus Kennedy this season.  Kennedy, a second team All-Conference player a season ago, was playing in just his second game this year after regaining his academic eligibility.  He scored five points and grabbed five rebounds in 16 minutes of playing time.  Quite frankly, he looks a bit out of shape and overweight.

The Mustangs’ next game is Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 PM against South Florida in the first conference game for both teams.  The game will be televised on ESPN2.  South Florida and SMU split two games last year, with the home team winning each game.  South Florida arrives in Dallas with a 6-7 record (1-3 on the road).

NOTABLE:

  • SMU blocked 13 shots in the game, to tie the school record.
  • Nic Moore has scored at least 10 points in 10 of the 12 games, including four in which he has scored at least 20 points.
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