A little home cooking goes a long way
Fueled by Nic Moore‘s 22 points and a career night from sophomore Keith Frazier, No. 22/23 SMU ended its losing streak at two and beat Eastern Washington 77-68 at Moody Coliseum on Saturday.
The Mustangs were coming off two consecutive road losses to No. 13 Gonzaga and Indiana, and Saturday’s game was the first of a seven-game home-stand at Moody.
Frazier finished the night with a career-high 17 points on 7-8 shooting and grabbed three rebounds. In the second half he knocked down seven straight points to help build a 13-point SMU lead.
Frazier’s scoring spurt was punctuated by a three-pointer to give SMU a 52-39 lead.
“He’s getting better- he made some shots tonight,” head coach Larry Brown said. “And we got to recognize that when he is in the game and open we got to get the ball to him. He shouldn’t be getting eight shots- he deserves more because he is by far our best shooter.”
A former Dallas high school standout, Frazier was the first major recruit for Brown with the Mustangs.
Coming into Saturday’s game Eastern Washington was 3-0 and had won all three games by a combined 110 points.
Eastern Washington’s Tyler Harvey struggled in the first half but finished with 24 points to led the Eagles.
EWU didn’t let SMU cruise into victory and battled until the closing minutes.
Harvey sunk two consecutive three-pointers to bring EWU within five with about two minutes left to play.
Venky Jois added 13 points, 10 rebounds and a game-high three steals to the Eagles losing effort.
The Mustangs host Arkansas on Nov. 25, tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. CT.
This will be the 155th meeting between the programs, but the first in Moody since 1994-95 when both schools were in the Southwest Conference.
Lat season, UA won 89-78 in Fayetteville, but SMU has won 20 of its last 21 at home, including 14 of 15 in Moody Coliseum since its reopening last season.
“[Arkansas] got just about everybody back,” Brown said. “And they beat us last year at their place and it was the most lopsided game, even though it was only a six point game with a minute and a half to go. I kind of got the feeling like they had control the whole game.”
Arkansas holds the series advantage over SMU with a record of 95-51.
“It’s a long season,” Brown said. “It’s a marathon and we got a lot of big games. Our goal is to get better. You know Lamar was not a great team and we won that on talent. Gonzaga was a great team and we got out coached and outplayed. And Indiana at Indiana is a tough environment, they’re a quality team- I think we improved. And tonight I think [we played] a quality team. So hopefully we can make the little steps.”
Tuesday’s game will be televised on ESPNews. The game is sold out. Reseller tickets are available online at VividSeats.com.