What we learned from SMU’s 70-66 win over Houston

NCAA Basketball: Houston at Southern Methodist

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Cougars came out during warm-ups shooting well from all points on the court and it carried over as they gave SMU everything it wanted early on. Fortunately for the Mustangs, the team was able to overcome a slow start to defeat the Houston Cougars 77-73 to move to 18-0 (7-0) on the season.

You’re good even when you’re bad

If you look at the box score without seeing the final score you would have thought that SMU lost this game by a considerable margin. The Mustangs were outrebounded 22 to 13 in the first half — with the Cougars corralling 13 offensive rebounds converted only 1-of-7 three-point attempts in the first half, but surprisingly the score was tied at 34 going into halftime. If it were not for Nic Moore’s 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting the score could have been a lot worse, and being the senior leader it was later said that he used his influence to wake up the rest of the SMU players that appeared to be sleep-walking through the first half.

Kennedy is finally back in a groove

In addition to scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, Markus Kennedy was able to log 30+ minutes in a game for the first time since the November win over Brown. That may not seem like anything of significance when you consider the frontcourt rotation that also includes Jordan Tolbert and Ben Moore, but with the bench shrinking to two scholarship players due to Keith Frazier transferring, there is an expectation for all SMU players to pick up the slack. This was the senior’s third consecutive game scoring in double figures and his second double-double in three games after having his minutes decreased due to a lower leg injury. Another key in the victory over Houston was his ability to avoid foul trouble because it would have been easy for someone of his stature, 6’9 245, to try to overpower the tall but undersized Cougars post players and draw foolish offensive fouls.

SMU vs. Everybody (including the referees)

When you are on a run like the Mustangs are, you will get your opponents best shot and for most of the game Houston did that — but they also had help from the referees. There were numerous questionable calls throughout the game that made some wonder if the zebras had it out for the Mustangs. SMU was able to hold off both opponents

Next up:

The Mustangs were scheduled to take on the Temple Owls, 10-7 (4-2), on Saturday afternoon, but due to the inclement weather along the east coast the game was postponed until Sunday. When the game finally tips off the Owls will be relying on the talent of guard Quenton DeCosey (15.6ppg & 5.9rpg) and forward Jaylen Bond (9.9ppg & 8.2rpg)

The Owls are coming off a 62-49 victory over cross-town rival LaSalle and are looking to get its fifth win in conference play and end the Mustangs undefeated stretch.

This will also be a homecoming for senior Forward Markus Kennedy who is a Philly native.

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