Jan. 26, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. (SMU) - The Mustangs out-scored UCF 34-19 in the second half to take a 60-48 victory on the road for their fourth straight win, improving to 11-8, 4-2 in Conference USA, while the Knights fell to 9-10, 4-3 in C-USA.
Samantha Mahnesmith led the Mustangs with 16 points, scoring 13 in the second half, going 4-of-5 from 3-point range, and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds. Alisha Filmore scored 15 points, and Krystal Johnson was one away from matching her career-high, adding nine points in the win.
SMU held the Knights scoreless from the field from the 8:13 mark in the second half until a UCF layup cut the Mustangs' lead to 10 with 1:19 left, but by then margin was too great. The SMU defense forced the Knights into 11 second-half turnovers, swiping eight steals, and holding UCF to a 27.3 shooting percentage, making just 6-of-22 attempts from the floor.
SMU opened the half out-scoring the Knights 6-2 to retake the lead for the first time since midway through the first half. The Mustangs went 13-of-25 from the floor in the second half, 52.0-percent, and made three shots from beyond the arc, all by Mahnesmith, including one with 7:44 left to give SMU the lead for good, 46-43.
"Sam (Mahnesmith) hit some big 3's for us in the second half," Rompola claimed. "We didn't get our running game going in the first half, but I thought we did a much better job in the second half."
In the first half, the Mustangs shot 42.3-percent from the field in the first half, but found themselves trailing at halftime 29-26. Filmore scored five points in the last two minutes of the period for seven first-half points to lead SMU. Neither team was able to find the basket early, going 3:19 seconds before Elliott hit the game's first field goal.
The Knights took a 7-6 lead with 12:33. The Mustangs didn't hold the advantage the rest of the half, but never let UCF get more than seven points ahead, despite committing 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. SMU held UCF to just 12-of-34 from the field in the first half, and only let the Knights turn the turnovers into eight points.
SMU finished the game shooting 47.1-percent from the field, 24-of-51, and hit 5-of-12 3-point attempts, 41.7-percent, while holding UCF to just 32.1-percent, 18-of-56, including a 0-for-7 night from beyond the arc. The Mustangs out rebounded the Knights 35-34, and out-scored UCF 30-22 in the paint.
The Mustangs return home to take on Tulsa on Sunday at 2 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.smumustangs.com.