El Paso, Texas - The SMU women's basketball team rallied from a 12-point deficit to overtake UTEP and claim a 71-64 victory Thursday night in El Paso. With the win, SMU improves to 14-4 overall (5-3 WAC) while UTEP posts its third straight loss and falls to 8-10 (3-5 WAC). The SMU win also surpasses the entire Mustang win total of the 2003-04 season of 13 wins.
It took over two minutes for each team to get the game-opening jitters out. UTEP, however, took it to SMU early, building a lead as many as six points with 12 minutes remaining in the first half and 12 points five minutes later. SMU shot a decent 40.7% in the first half, but the Miners were better, hitting 48.3% of their shots. SMU chipped away at the Miner lead with two three-pointers by sophomore Katie Gross and a basket by Janielle Dodds. SMU went into the intermission down by only four points, 32-28.
In the second half, SMU intensified its defense but could not make any headway as both teams traded baskets. The Mustangs limited the Miners to one shot and kept applying the pressure. Three consecutive three-point baskets (two by Kendall Shead and one by Sharee Shepherd) gave SMU the lead - a lead that the Mustangs would not relinquish. SMU extended its lead to as many as six points by UTEP did not back down. Clutch SMU free throws in the minutes of the game solidified the Mustang win.
Top scorer for SMU was freshman post Janielle Dodds with 20 points and six rebounds. Kendall Shead added 15 points, including 3-of-5 three-point range. Katie Gross poured in 12 points for SMU. The game's top scorer was UTEP's Marta Dydek with 22 points.
SMU heads north to Boise State to take on the Broncos Saturday afternoon. The Broncos (7-10, 2-6 WAC) are coming off a 62-59 upset victory over Louisiana Tech Thursday night in Boise. SMU's game time is slated for 3:00 p.m. CT and be heard on KFCD-Radio (990 AM).