Jan. 15, 2013
SMU GOES FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT AT USM
Radio: KAAM 770AM Ray Canevari (Play-by-Play)
Location: Hattiesburg, Miss. (Reed Green Coliseum)
Live stats and video available on SMUMustangs.com
SMU (11-4, 2-0 Conference USA) puts its three game win streak on the line against Southern Miss (9-6, 1-1 C-USA) at 7 p.m. in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Mustangs host in-state rival Rice on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS
SMU: The Mustangs are 11-4 on the season and 2-0 in Conference USA for the first time since 2006-07, including a win over preseason favorite Tulane on the road. Keena Mays leads the team with 22.3 points per game, and scored 27 at Tulane. Alisha Filmore also averages double figures, scoring 12.5 per game. SMU is fourth in the league in scoring offense, averaging 68.3 points, and leads the conference shooting 35.5 percent on 3-point attempts.
The Last Meeting
February 12, 2012
The Golden Eagles are 9-6 overall and 1-1 in C-USA, led by a trio of scorers averaging more than 10 points each. Tanecka Carey shoots 39.6 percent on 3-point attempts to lead the team with 16.5 points per game, and Jamierra Faulkner leads the team with 53 free throws to average 16.3. Jerontay Clemons adds 10.9 per game. As a team, the Golden Eagles are shooting 29.7 percent from behind the arc and 39.5 percent overall from the field. USM was on a four game winning streak before a loss at Memphis.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 5-4 all-time against Southern Miss, but have lost three of the last four after winning four in a row. SMU is just 1-3 in Hattiesburg, dropping the last two on the road. The series started on Nov. 24, 1989 when the Golden Eagles defeated the Mustangs in the season-opening Dallas Hilton Inn Classic. Last season, Alisha Filmore scored 20 points, but Jamierra Faulker scored 28 to lead Southern Miss to a 74-67 win in Dallas.
UP NEXT - RICE
The Owls are 9-6 after dropping two of their last three. Jessica Kuster leads the team, averaging a double-double with 16.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, and Megan Palmer scores 11.5 per game. As a team, Rice is scoring just 57.5 points per game, 10th in C-USA, while opponents are averaging 61.7 points.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs hold a 34-33 edge in the all-time series, but the Owls are are 8-7 against SMU since the Mustangs joined C-USA in 2005-06. SMU is 21-10 at home against Rice, although the Owls have won the last four straight overall. SMU boasts the longest winning streak in the series at five games from Feb. 15, 2007 to Feb. 22, 2009. Rice won the first meeting 57-54 in Houston during the 1978-79 season.
THE COACHES: SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola played for Rice head coach Greg Williams on the Dallas Diamonds. Williams also spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant at SMU. Williams holds the edge between the two, going 8-7 when coaching against his former player.
LAST TIME OUT - UCF
Korina Baker scored a career-high 17 points, going 5-of-7 on 3-point attempts, leading SMU to a 69-54 win against UCF in Moody Coliseum Sunday afternoon. Baker was one of four players to score at least ten points as the Mustangs improved to 11-4 on the season and 2-0 in Conference USA for the first time since 2006-07, remaining undefeated at home against the Knights with the fifth win in Dallas.
Destynee Hives-McCray finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds, Alisha Filmore scored 11 points, and freshman Gabrielle Wilkins added 10, reaching double digits for the fourth time this season. Keena Mays, who was double teamed all game, was held to just six points, but grabbed seven rebounds and passed out six assists in the win. Akil Simpson nearly gave the Mustangs five players in double figures for the first time since November 2010, finishing with nine points and four rebounds.
WORTH THE WAIT
Keena Mays had 33 points agaisnt Stephen F. Austin, tied for ninth in a game at SMU and the most by a Mustang since D-dra Rucker scored 33 points at Fresno State on Jan. 28, 2001. The stellar performance also made her the first player at SMU to score at least 20 in back-to-back games since Delisha Wills scored 22 and 20 in consecutive games in December 2010. In her first game since transferring to SMU from Kansas in Jan. 2012, she scored 23 points with 11 rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. It was the second double-double of her career after scoring 12 points with 10 assists against Michigan as a freshman. Mays is averaging 22.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in seven games, and the Mustangs are 6-1 since her SMU debut.
Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in 13 games this season, including the last five straight, with a season-high 22 in the win over Harvard. She is 14th in C-USA, averaging 12.5 points per game and is 12th in the league shooting 31.7 percent from 3-point range. She has 858 points in her career, needing to maintain an average of 10 points per game to become the 20th player in program history with 1,000 career points.
TAKE IT AWAY
SMU is 49th in the country, averaging 11.3 steals per game, and are 23rd in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 5.6 more turnovers per game. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 32 steals and is 12th in C-USA with 2.1 per game. Korina Baker has 28 steals and is 89th in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio, and freshman Gabrielle Wilkins has 25 steals on the season, including a C-USA record-tying 10 against SIU-Edwardsville.
DOMINANT OUTSIDE THE ARC
The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are 25th in the NCAA, shooting 35.5 percent from the perimeter, making 75 of 211 3-point attempts, and SMU is one of only four teams in the league shooting higher than 30 percent from behind the arc. Korina Baker is second in C-USA, going 19-for-47 from distance, 40.4 percent. Keena Mays and Kristin Askew, who don't meet the minimums for rankings, are both shooting higher than 43 percent. Mays has made 21 of 48 attempts in seven games, and Askew is 10-for-22 from behind the arc. SMU is sixth in C-USA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 28.2 percent behind the arc.
RUNNING THE POINT
Korina Baker has a team-high 55 assists and is ninth in the league with 3.7 per game. She handed out a career-high nine assists against Montana State, and has had at least four seven times. She also scored a career-high 17 points against UCF, reaching double figures for the third time this season, and is averaging 6.3 points per game.
In the past six seasons, the SMU has had three 20-win seasons, won a Conference USA Tournament Championship, a C-USA Regular Season title, advanced to the NCAA Tournament and made two WNIT appearances.
Head coach Rhonda Rompola and associate head coach Lisa Dark have been together on the sidelines since Rompola took over the reins of the program 22 seasons ago. Assistant coach Deneen Parker is in her 18th season with the Mustangs. The SMU staff has the second longest active tenure of any staff at one school. Danny Hughes joined the staff prior to the 2009-10 season and is in his fourth year with the program.
SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has led the Mustangs to the NCAA Tournament seven times and the WNIT four times in 21 seasons. The Mustangs have captured two conference tournament championships, winning the Western Athletic Conference tournament in 1999 and the Conference USA tournament in 2008, and two regular season titles under her leadership. She has coached three All-Americans, two Conference Players of the Year, two Conference Defensive Players of the Year and 31 All-Conference selections. Rompola has also been named Coach of the Year six times during her career.
ROMPOLA CLOSING IN ON MILESTONE
SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has won 391 games during her career at SMU. With nine more wins, Rompola would get her ninth 20-win season and reach 400 wins in her career, something only 40 NCAA Division I coaches have accomplished in their careers. Last season, Rompola passed former SMU men's soccer head coach Schellas Hyndman for most wins by a coach at SMU with the 369th win of her career, a 47-38 victory over TCU on Nov. 17, 2011. She earned her 350th career win on Feb. 25, 2010 with a 69-61 win against UCF.
The Mustangs scored 88 points for the first time since Dec. 28, 2008 when they scored 92 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and have scored at least 70 in eight of 14 games, including seven of the last nine, after reaching 70 just four times last season. SMU had two players eclipse 20 points in two consecutive games games, and the Mustangs are averaging 68.3 points per game, nearly 10 points more than last year. Keena Mays is leading the league with 25.0 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.6 per game. Akil Simpson is up to 9.7 per game after scoring at least 10 in four of the last five games, including a season-high 20 at San Diego State.
After scoring just 25 points in the first five games, Akil Simpson has scored at least 10 points seven times this season, including four of the last six games with a season-high 20 points at San Diego State. The junior is eighth in Conference USA, shooting 45.4 percent from the field, and leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game, 10th in C-USA.
THREE OF A KIND
The Mustangs three starting guards each have at least 19 3-point field goals, led by junior transfers Keena Mays and Korina Baker. Mays has a team-high 21 made 3's, shooting 43.8 percent from the outside. The percentage would lead the league, but one has to play in 75 percent of a team's games to be eligible for rankings. Baker has made 19 of 47 attempts, and is one of just two players ranked in the league shooting above 40 percent, hitting 40.4 percent. Senior Alisha Filmore has also made 19 3-pointers. As a team, the Mustangs have made at least five in 10 games, including the last four straight. SMU made a season-high 10 at TCU.
ALL-CONFERENCE USA TEAM
Akil Simpson was named to the All-C-USA Second Team after finishing the regular season with 10.6 points per game, and tied for ninth in the league with 7.3 rebounds. She had seven double-doubles in the regular season and scored at least 20 points three times, with a career-high 25 points at Tulane. She grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds against Houston. Simpson was named to the All-Freshman Team in 2011. She was named to the C-USA All-Preseason Team this year.
Keena Mays and Destynee Hives-McCray became the first tandem to post a double-double in the same game since Janielle Dodds and Sharee Shepherd accomplished the feat against UAB on Feb. 17, 2008. Mays had 23 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs, in her SMU debut, while Hives-McCray scored 11 points with 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.
In two games at the Surf 'N Slam Classic in San Diego, Keena Mays teamed with Akil Simpson and then Alisha Filmore to give SMU two players with at least 20 points. Mays scored 26 at San Diego State and Simpson finished with 20. In SMU's win over Harvard, Mays scored 25 and Filmore added 22.
SMU IS DALLAS' TEAM
The new SMU marketing slogan "SMU is Dallas' Team" is a very accurate description of the women's basketball program. Since the start of the program in 1976, 72 of 105 letter winners were natives of Texas. This season, 12 of 14 players are Texas natives, and all 12 list hometowns in or around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Of the four coaches on staff, head coach Rhonda Rompola, a New Jersey native, is the only one not from Texas.