Women's Basketball

SMU Goes For Season Sweep Of Cougars Thursday In Houston

Go smu! Akil Simpson
Go smu!
Akil Simpson
Go smu!

Jan. 31, 2012

Radio: KAAM 770 AM Scott Garner (Play-by-Play)
Location: Houston, Texas (Hofheinz Pavilion)
Live stats and video available on SMUMustangs.com

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

SMU (11-9, 4-3 C-USA) goes for the season sweep at Houston (2-17, 1-6 C-USA), battling the Cougars on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Hofheinz Pavilion. The Mustangs conclude the two-game road trip at Tulane (15-5, 4-3 C-USA) on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Houston: The Cougars are 2-17 overall and 1-6 against C-USA opponents, taking a 56-49 victory over a Southern Miss team which is 0-8 in league play for their lone conference win. Roxana Button leads the conference, averaging 18.2 points per game, but Houston averages just 53.3 points as a team, lowest in the conference. The Cougars also give up a league-high 72.0 points per game. Terran Alford is the team's top-rebounder, grabbing 6.3 of Houston's 38.5 rebounds per game.

Series History: The Mustangs are 17-28 all-time against the Cougars after winning the first meeting of the season 76-61 at home on Jan. 12. Alisha Filmore led the Mustangs with 26 points, and Akil Simpson scored 16 with 15 rebounds. SMU is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings with Houston. The first game took place during the 1980-81 season, with Houston winning 77-71.

The Green Wave is 15-5 overall, but currently tied with the Mustangs for fifth in the C-USA standings at 4-3. Olivia Grayson leads the team with 14.5 points per game, seventh in the leage, and Brett Benzio adds 9.1 per contest, 24th in C-USA. Benzio is also third in the conference, averaging 9.8 rebounds per game. Tulane is third in the league in both scoring offense, 61.8 points per game, and scoring defense, 52.2 points per game.

Series History: The Mustangs are 11-14 all-time against the Green Wave, and have won four of the last six meetings, including a 77-73 victory in Dallas last season, the last time the two teams met. Tulane won the first meeting 72-62 on Jan. 26, 1980. Since joining Conference USA, the Mustangs are 7-6 against Tulane.

Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in seven games and scored at least 25 twice, including a career-high 29 points against TAMU-Corpus Christi...Filmore has led SMU in points four times this season...The Mustangs held their opponents to 60 points or less in the first four games and nine times this season...Christine Elliott has grabbed at least nine rebounds in seven games, leading the Mustangs in rebounds 10 times this season...Akil Simpson has scored in double-figures in 10 games, including a career-high 22 points against Fresno State...Simpson has posted five double-doubles, including three of the last five games...Elliott has 16 career double-doubles and Simpson has six...SMU has had at least 10 steals in 10 games, with nine against TAMU-Corpus Christi...Heidi Brandenburg has made 17-of-27 shots in conference games, 63.0-percent.

Head Coach Rhonda Rompola passed Schellas Hyndman for most wins as a head coach at SMU with the 369th win of her career on Nov. 17 with a 47-38 victory over TCU. Hyndman had 368 wins as the men's soccer head coach. Rompola currently has 377 wins. She earned the 350th win of her career with a 69-61 win over UCF on Feb. 25, 2010.

Samantha Mahnesmith has led the team in scoring seven times this season, averaging 9.4 points, third on the team. Christine Elliott has grabbed a team-high rebounds in 10 games. Elliott leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game, 10th in Conference USA, and is fourth on the team with 8.6 points per game. She is fifth in the conference, shooting 49.6-percent from the field.

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 20 seasons ago. Assistant coach Deneen Parker joined the duo 16 years ago. 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 entering his third year with the program.

After spending most of the last two seasons playing point guard for the Mustangs, junior Alisha Filmore has spent this season scoring points, letting sophomore Krystal Johnson and first-year transfer Sabrina McKinney run the offense. Filmore is leading the team with 10.6 points per game, and averages 11.6 points in conference games. She scored a career-high 29 points against TAMU-CC and also had 26 against Houston. She has reached double-figures 10 times, including four of the last five games. She is third in the league, shooting 38.9-percent from 3-point range.

The SMU women's basketball program began competition during the 1976-77 season, winning 10 games in its inaugural campaign. Over the course of its history, the program has chalked up 549 wins. With a win over Houston on Thursday, the Mustangs would celebrate the 550th win in school history. SMU has won 123 games since joining Conference USA prior to the 2005-06 season.

In the past five seasons, the Mustangs have 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.

SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has led the Mustangs to the NCAA Tournament seven times and the WNIT four times. The Mustangs have captured two conference tournament championships 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 30 All-Conference selections. Rompola has also been named Coach of the Year six times during her 20-year tenure.

Christine Elliott scored her 1,000th point on Dec. 3 against Wichita State in her hometown of Wichita, Kan., becoming the 19th player in school history to reach the milestone. The senior, who led the team with 13 points in the game, accomplished the milestone with her third field goal three minutes into the game. She now has 1,095 career points, 17th all-time at SMU, and 825 rebounds, fifth at SMU, becoming the fifth player at SMU with at least 1,000 points and 800 rebounds in a career. This season, Elliott is averaging 9.4 points and 7.5 rebounds. She scored a season-high 15 points at Kansas and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds against TCU.

The SMU women's basketball team will be featured in a pair of television broadcasts during the upcoming 2011-12 season. The first televised matchup for head coach Rhonda Rompola and the Mustangs will be at home against Southern Miss at 1 p.m. (CT) Feb. 12 on the CBS Sports Network. Tip-off was originally scheduled for 2 p.m. On Feb. 19, FSN will broadcast SMU's home matchup against Rice. The game time, originally slated for 2 p.m., will be moved up to a 12 p.m. CT start.

The Mustangs are 9-1 when shooting at least 40.0-percent. When shooting 45.0-percent or higher, SMU is 4-0. In games when the Mustangs shoot a higher percentage than opponents, SMU is 9-2. The Mustangs have shot at least 41-percent in four of the last five games, all wins.

Head coach Rhonda Rompola called the 2012-13 freshmen class one of best in the history of the SMU program. The class features three players from the DFW area and an All-Arkansas selection from Little Rock, Ark. Farrin Bell averages 20 points and five rebounds per game at Richardson High School. Nia Jackson scores 13 points with eight rebounds per contest at Argyle Liberty Christian High School in Keller, Texas. Gabrielle Wilkins leads Garland High School with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Lexus Williams puts up 12 points and 10 boards at North Little Rock High School.

The Mustangs are shooting 66.6-percent, third in the conference, sinking 271-of-407 attempts. Akil Simpson has made a team-high 53 foul shots, and Alisha Filmore is fifth in the league, shooting 76.9-percent from the line. SMU went to the line 43 times against UTSA, third most in school history, making 31 free throws.

Christine Elliott has 16 career double-doubles, third among active leaders in Conference USA. This season, the senior forward posted her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds against TCU, and scored 15 points with 10 rebounds at Kansas. Akil Simpson posted her fifth of the season and the sixth of her career with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Tulsa.

Akil Simpson is second on the team, averaging 9.8 points per game, and is second with 6.8 rebounds per game. She is second in the conference, shooting 54.0-percent from the field, and has made a team-high 52 free throws. In six conference games, she is averaging 11.5 points per game with 8.5 rebounds. She also has 34 steals and 28 assists.

The Mustangs are third in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 30.4-percent for the season and in conference games. Alisha Filmore is third in the conference, shooting 38.9-percent, and Samantha Mahnesmith connects on 30.3-percent of attempts, 11th in the league.



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