March 1, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. (SMU) - Senior guard Keena Mays became the 22nd Mustang to score 1,000 points in her career as she entered the game with 978 career points and totaled 22 in the game, but it was not enough as South Florida defeated SMU in Tampa, 72-51, on Saturday evening. Senior forward Akil Simpson also added 11 points and seven rebounds in defeat.
SMU fell to 16-12 (7-10 The American), while USF earned its 12th league win, improving to 17-11 (12-5).
Mays' 22 points marked her 16th game this season with 20 or more points and the 27th time in 28 games where she has scored in double figures. In addition, Simpson (11 points) has now scored in double figures in 24 of SMU's 28 games this season.
South Florida got up early in the first half, reaching its largest lead of the game, 33-9, at the 6:32 mark when USF sophomore Alisia Jenkins made a layup off an assist from senior Inga Orekhova. SMU then clamped down on defense and finished the half on an 18-6 run, holding the Bulls scoreless from the field over the last 4:44 of the half.
During that time, SMU closed the first stanza with a 10-0 run and trailed 39-27 at the intermission.
In the second half, Mays got hot and drilled back-to-back three pointers with the second coming at the 16:03 mark in the half to cut the Bulls lead to 42-33. Over the next four minutes, SMU and USF traded buckets back and forth until the Mustangs went on a 4-0 run to cut the lead to seven at 45-38.
The run was capped off by a Mays layup at the 12:08 mark, but it was as close as SMU could get as the Bulls pulled away and finished the game by outscoring the Mustangs 27-13 over the last 12 minutes.
In 50 games on the Hilltop, Mays has scored 1,000 points, including 576 this season, becoming just the fourth player in program history to score 500 in a season. In addition, Mays totaled three three-pointers for the game, moving to within two of the single-season school record held by Jillian Samuels, who drained 72 threes in the 2007-08 campaign.
Simpson, the 21st Mustang to score 1,000 points now ranks14th all-time in points scored at SMU with 1,198 following her 11-point performance tonight. Simpson entered the game just one point behind Jillian Samuels ('10) whom now ranks 15th with 1,188 points. Next on the list is Andrea Cossey ('04) who sits 13th with 1,206 points.
Mays, Simpson and the Mustangs will host UCF on March 3 in the regular-season finale on Senior Night in Moody Coliseum at 7 p.m.