GARLAND, Texas -- Painters' caps would make an appropriate uniform complement for SMU Mustangs.
SMU on Wednesday night continued to score points in the paint at a prolific rate this young season in its 70-49 victory over Texas State. In running their record to 3-1, the Mustangs used a varied assortment of short jumpers, layups, put-backs and alley oops to outscore Texas State in the paint 28-12. They have outscored their four opponents 154-66 down low, accounting for 50.3 percent of SMU's points.
Sophomore Nic Moore, a transfer from Illinois State and SMU's leading scorer going into the game averaging 15 points, scored a team-high 16. Nick Russell added 14. Junior Yanick Moreira, a highly recruited junior college transfer from South Plains College, added 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
SMU held Texas State (0-4) to 32-percent shooting. Mustangs opponents are shooting 35.4 percent this season. The Bobcats committed 18 turnovers while making 16 field goals.
Senior forward Joel Wright led Texas State with 21 points, topping his team-leading season average of 15.7 going into the game. The Bobcats remain winless in their first season as members of the Sun Belt Conference and under new head coach Danny Kaspar. Kaspar spent 13 seasons in East Texas at Stephen F. Austin, where his teams won 20 or more games in five of the past six seasons and led NCAA Division I in defense in two of the last three years.
SMU held Texas State scoreless over a stretch of six and a half minutes early in the first half, using a 14-point run to build a 41-20 halftime lead. Twelve of the Mustangs' first 16 points were scores from inside the paint.
Texas State's first-half struggles included sinking just six field goals while committing 12 turnovers.
SMU never broke stride during the second half and built its lead to a high of 27 points with 7:06 remaining in the second half.