Dec. 7, 2013
EL PASO, Texas (SMU) - Keena Mays scored a career-high 34 points, but it wasn't enough as SMU fell 76-71 at UTEP Saturday. The senior went 10 for 21 from the field and 12 for 16 at the free throw line. With the loss, SMU fell to 8-2, while the Miners remained perfect, improving to 8-0.
Akil Simpson recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for the Mustangs, but the Miners had three players in double figures. Kayla Thornton led UTEP with 21 points, and Jenzel Nash scored 19. Mays also had seven rebounds and five assists in the loss.
UTEP led by seven at halftime, and stretched the lead to as many as 15 points over the early part of the second half, 47-32 with 15:29 on the clock. The Mustangs scored the next 10 points, cutting the lead to five, 47-42 with 12:32 to go in the game. Korina Baker hit a 3 with 8:09 to go, cutting the lead to three, 54-51, and then a Mays 3 cut the lead to two, 56-54 with 7:28 remaining. It was as close as SMU would get. The Miners made 10 of 14 free throws in the last 1:27 to maintain the lead.
SMU finished the game shooting 40.3 percent, making 25 of 62 field goals, with Mays and Simpson combining for 17 field goals. UTEP was held to a 35.9 shooting percentage, but the Miners went 25-for-37 at the free throw line, while the Mustangs made just 17 of 28 attempts.
Mays scored eight points in the first six minutes of the game as SMU took a 14-4 lead in the first half, holding UTEP to just 2-of-8 from the field during the stretch. The Mustangs scored just 14 points the rest of the half, with Mays going into the lockerroom with 18 points. UTEP went 11 for 24 for the remainder of the first half, taking a 35-28 lead at halftime. SMU started 6 of 13 from the floor, but had just 10 field goals in 27 attempts at the break.
The Mustangs play their next three games on the road, starting with a game at North Texas Dec. 21 at 12 p.m. SMU begins American Athletic Conference play at No. 7/7 Louisville Dec. 29. SMU plays its first game in Moody Coliseum against USF on Jan. 4 after a road game at Cincinnati on Jan. 1.