Women's Basketball

SMU Looks To Maintain Conference Lead At Tulsa Sunday

Go smu!
Go smu!

Go smu!

Jan. 25, 2013

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Radio: KAAM 770AM Ray Canevari (Play-by-Play)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (Reynolds Center)
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The Last Meeting
March 1, 2012
Tulsa, Okla.
Mustangs Fall 61-57 To Tulsa In Final Regular Season Game
TULSA, Okla. (SMU) - The Mustangs stormed back in the final minutes, but Tulsa held on to claim a 61-57 victory over SMU on Thursday night in the final game of the regular season. Alisha Filmore hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left, but Taylor Hooker made it a four-point game at the free throw line to secure the win.

SMU, the last undefeated team in Conference USA at 4-0, faces Tulsa in a road test Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. The Mustangs are 13-4 overall, and boast the league's top scoring offense in conference games with 70.8 points per game. Tulsa is 7-11, 2-3 C-USA, after a 54-51 win against UCF. SMU's next game is a home contest against Houston (9-8, 3-1 C-USA) Thursday at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.

SMU: Keena Mays, who earned her second C-USA Player of the Week award, is averaging 21.2 points, and is one of four Mustangs averaging at least 10 points in C-USA games. SMU is 4-0 in conference play since the 1999-00 season when playing in the Western Athletic Conference, and the Mustangs have won five straight overall. SMU is second in scoring in the league overall, averaging 69.2 points per game for the season, and leads the conference in 3-point percentage, shooting 37.9 percent.

TULSA: The Golden Hurricane has won two of its last three games to improve to 2-3 in C-USA and 7-11 overall. Taleya Mayberry leads the team and is second in the conference with 19.3 points per game. Kelsee Grovey and Tiffani Couisnard each add just over nine points per game, and Couisnard grabs a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game. Tulsa scores 63.9 points, while opponents are averaging 62.0 points per game.

SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 23-13 all-time against Tulsa. SMU has won six of the last nine, but the Golden Hurricane won both games last season by a combined seven points, including a buzzer-beater 3 to give Tulsa a 42-39 win in Dallas on Jan. 29. The Mustangs are 8-8 at Tulsa. The series started on Nov. 30, 1981 when SMU won 86-64 in Dallas.

The SMU vs. Tulsa matchup pits the Conference USA Player of the Week, SMU's Keena Mays, against the C-USA Freshman of the Week, Kelsee Grovey. Mays averaged 17.5 points, 5.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 rebounds while leading SMU to double-digit wins over Southern Miss and Rice. Grovey averaged 15.0 points in two games as Tulsa beat Marshall before losing at East Carolina.

The Cougars are 9-8 overall after winning four of their last five, and are 3-1 in C-USA. Porsche Landry leads the team with 17.6 points per game, and Marissa Ashton scores 9.7. Houston is scoring 66.8 points per game while opponents are averaging 65.6.

SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 18-28 all-time against the Cougars, but swept the season series last year. SMU gots its first win against the Cougars during the 1991-92 season, Rompola's first as head coach, and the Mustangs are 18-9 during her tenure. The first game between the two schools took place on Jan. 13, 1981 with Houston taking a 77-71 win in Dallas.

The Mustangs improved to 4-0 in conference play for the first time since the 1999-2000 season with a dominant 73-51 win against Rice in Moody Coliseum Sunday. Keena Mays led all-scorers with 25 points for SMU (13-4, 4-0 Conference USA), making a career-high six 3-pointers to eclipse 20 points for the sixth time in nine games. Akil Simpson recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. SMU forced Rice into 23 turnovers and converted them into 25 points, while the Owls managed just nine points on 12 SMU turnovers. The Mustangs finished the game shooting 41.5 percent, 27-of-65, including 10-of-20 from 3-point range. Rice hit just two 3-pointers in 11 attempts, 18.2 percent, and shot 38.5 percent overall, 20-of-52.

Junior transfer Keena Mays has established herself as a candidate for Conference USA Player of the Year after scoring at least 20 points in six of her first nine games at SMU, including a career-high 33 points agaisnt Stephen F. Austin. She is averaging 21.2 points per game, which would rank first in the conference and 11th in the NCAA if she met the 75 percent of the team's games minimum. Her 3-point percentage, 46.0, would also lead the conference and rank fifth nationally.

In conference games, the Mustangs are scoring more points, 70.8, than any team in the league, and SMU is second in C-USA overall, averaging 69.2 points per game. Four of SMU's five starters average 10 points or more, led by Keena Mays with 17.0 per game, and two others average at least nine. Alisha Filmore, Destynee Hives-McCray and Korina Baker all score at least 10, and Akil Simpson, 9.5, and Gabrielle Wilkins, 9.0, are just below double digits.

Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in 14 games this season, including six of the last seven, with a season-high 22 in the win over Harvard. She is 15th in C-USA, averaging 12.5 points per game and is 12th in the league shooting 32.8 percent from 3-point range. She has 891 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.

SMU is 42nd in the country, averaging 11.5 steals per game, and is 21st in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 5.47 more turnovers per game. Korina Baker lead the team with 36 steals, 12th in C-USA with 2.1 per game, and Alisha Filmore has 35 steals. Baker is also 75th in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio, and freshman Gabrielle Wilkins has 29 steals on the season, including a C-USA record-tying 10 against SIU-Edwardsville.

Korina Baker has a team-high 64 assists and is ninth in the league with 3.8 per game. She handed out a career-high nine assists against Montana State, and has had at least four eight times. She also scored a career-high 17 points against UCF, and has reached double figures four times this season, averaging 6.6 points per game.

The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are eighth in the NCAA, shooting 37.9 percent from the perimeter, making 92 of 243 3-point attempts. Korina Baker leads C-USA, going 24-for-54 from distance, 44.4 percent. Keena Mays, who doesn't meet the minimums for rankings, is shooting 46.0 percent, which would lead the conference and rank fifth nationally. Mays has made 29 of 63 attempts in nine games, including a career-high six against Rice. SMU is fourth in C-USA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 27.6 percent.

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 C-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.

SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has won 393 games during her career at SMU. With seven 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 against Harvard, the most since Dec. 28, 2008 when they scored 92 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and have scored at least 70 in 10 of 17 games, including nine of the last 12, after reaching 70 just four times last season. SMU had two players eclipse 20 points in consecutive games, and the Mustangs are averaging 69.2 points per game, nearly 10 points more than last year. Keena Mays is leading the league with 21.2 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.3 per game. Akil Simpson is averaging 9.8 per game, and the trio has each had at least 20 points in a game. Sophomore Destynee Hives-McCray became the fourth Mustangs to eclipse 20, scoring a career-high 22 at Southern Miss.

After scoring just 25 points in the first five games, Akil Simpson has scored at least 10 points eight times this season, including five of the last eight games with a season-high 20 points at San Diego State. The junior is sixth in Conference USA, shooting 46.7 percent from the field, and leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game, 10th in C-USA. She posted her third double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds against Rice.

SMU's three starting guards each have at least 20 3-point field goals, led by Keena Mays, shooting what would be a league-high 46 percent, 29-of-63. Korina Baker leads the conference shooting 44.4 percent from behind the arc, after going 10-of-14 in the last three games, and is shooting 68.8 percent in C-USA games. Senior Alisha Filmore has made 22 3-pointers, ranking 12th in the league at 32.8 percent from behind the acr. As a team, the Mustangs have made at least five in 12 games, including the last six straight. SMU made a season-high 10 in 16 attempts at TCU and hit 10 of 20 against Rice.

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.

On Dec. 17 against Louisiana-Monroe, 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 at the time, in her SMU debut, while Hives-McCray scored 11 points with 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.

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.

Destynee Hives-McCray scored a career-high 22 points in SMU's 79-69 win at Southern Miss, reaching double figures for the seventh time this season, and has scored at least 10 in two of the last three conference games. She also grabbed 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. The forward is averaging 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

SMU has earned nine of its 13 wins by at least 10 points, including four by more than 20. The Mustangs are third in C-USA and 53rd in the NCAA in scoring margin, out-scoring opponents by an average of 10.2 points per game. SMU doubled up UT-Pam Am, 71-35, for its largest margin of victory, 36, since beating Memphis 93-49 on Feb. 14 2008.



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