DALLAS (SMU) -Samantha Mahnesmith was one of three Mustangs in double figures, scoring 17 points to lead SMU for the fourth time in the last five games, but it wasn't enough as Stephen F. Austin took a 66-60 victory in Moody Coliseum Friday night.
Akil Simpson posted her second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. The sophomore also had four steals and two assists. Kristin Hernandez finished with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists, reaching double digits for the third time this season. Christine Elliott grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, leading the Mustangs off the glass for the ninth time this season.
Mahnesmith scored 12 points in the second half, helping the Mustangs erase an eight-point halftime deficit and tie the game less than five minutes into the second half. Seven minutes later, SMU (7-6) had built a six point lead, 55-49. Mahnesmith scored six during the span, but the Ladyjacks (10-2) rallied back to tie the score 55-55 with 5:11 left.
The Ladyjacks stretched the lead to seven, 63-56, with 1:50 left to play. After hitting a free throw, Mahnesmith cut the lead to three with a 3-pointer with 1:04 left in the game. The SMU defense forced a 5-second count on the SFA inbound pass, giving Mahnesmith a look to tie with 22 seconds left, but the 3-point attempt from the top of the key missed left. The Ladyjacks went 3-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 18 seconds to secure the win.
With the loss, SMU wrapped up the non-conference portion of the schedule with a 7-6 record, going 6-3 in Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs will open Conference USA action at home against UTEP on Thursday at 7 p.m.