At the end of the first half, SMU led ECU by a score of 43-21. In the opening minutes of the game, it looked like this game may be a close game as both teams were moving the ball fairly well and playing solid defense. However, that was not the case.
ECU had eight turnovers in the first half and SMU was able to score eight points off of those turnovers, while ECU was only able to able to score two points off of turnovers. Probably the biggest key to SMU’s success was that made 64% of their shots while ECU only made 30% of their shots.
SMU was led by forward Semi Ojeleye, who led all scorers with 17 points. He also led both teams in rebounds with nine. Guard Sterling Brown also contributed eight points in the first half. ECU was led by guard Caleb White, who led the team in scoring with eight points.
In the second half, ECU improved their play and was able to make it a very close game into the final seconds. SMU scored the go ahead score with seconds left. The major reason for ECU’s turnaround in the second half was their ability to hit shots. They shot 51% from the field and made 59% of their three-point attempts. Even though they improved, it was too little too late as SMU continued their great play and was able to close out the win.
SMU was led by Ojeleye, who finished with a double-double. He led all scorers with 36 points as well both teams in rebounding with 12 rebounds. Brown also added 16 points to the win. SMU’s defense and shot making was key in the second half because every time it seemed like ECU was going to go on a run, someone hit a big shot, or made a defensive play.
ECU was led by forward Kentrell Barkley, who led the team in scoring with 24 points. White added 17 points and fellow guard Elijah Hughes finished with 15 points. Center Andre Washington fouled out late into the game but before he left he had collect 10 rebounds, which led the team.
SMU will face off against the winner of the University of Memphis Tigers and University of Central Florida Knights. SMU’s next game will be on Saturday at 3PM EST here at the XL Center. The game will be televised on ESPN2.