Feb. 5, 2013
The Last Meeting
February 16, 2012
Late Three Lifts UAB Over SMU 50-46
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (SMU) - With two seconds on the shot clock and 12.6 on the game clock, Amber Jones hit a 25-foot 3-pointer to give UAB a 50-46 win over SMU in Bartow Arena Thursday night. The Mustangs (12-13, 5-7 Conference USA) had a chance to take the lead on the previous possession, but Akil Simpson's shot attempt over a double team rolled off the rim. Samantha Mahnesmith tied up the rebound, but the possession arrow favored the Blazers (18-6, 9-2 C-USA).
League-leading SMU (16-4, 7-0 C-USA) returns to Moody Coliseum to take on UAB (13-7, 4-3 C-USA). The games features the league's second-best scoring offense (SMU) against the top scoring defense (UAB). The Mustangs complete the two-game homestand against Marshall (7-13, 1-6 C-USA) Sunday at 2 p.m. The game is part of the Play4Kay initiative for breast cancer awareness.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS
SMU: The Mustangs have won eight straight games, and received votes in the AP Top 25 Poll after an 82-73 win at UTEP to claim a two game lead in Conference USA. Keena Mays leads the league's second-best scoring offense, 69.4 points per game, averaging 20.2 points. Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.5 points per game, and needs 69 points to become the 20th 1,000 point scorer in program history. SMU is ninth in the country, shooting 37.5 percent from 3-point range, and 34th with 11.6 steals per game.
UAB: The Blazers are fifth in Conference USA after two straight losses, but handed UTEP one of its losses earlier this season. Amber Jones leads the team with 13.9 points per game, and Karisma Chapman averages 12.5 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds. The Blazers average 61.8 points per game, but lead the league in scoring defense, holding opponents to 53.4.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are just 3-6 all-time against UAB, but have won two of three in Dallas. Six games have been decided by five points or less, including the last two. Alisha Filmore scored a game-high 14 points for SMU last season, but Amber Jones hit a 3 with 12 seconds left to seal a 50-46 win for UAB at home. The two teams first met on Dec. 28. 1991. UAB won 82-81 in San Jose, Calif., in the only matchup until SMU joined C-USA for 2005-06 season.
UP NEXT - MARSHALL
The Thundering Herd are 7-13 overall under first-year head coach Matt Daniel, and are 1-6 in Conference USA after a 55-54 win against Memphis, snapping a string of eight straight losses. Shay Weaver leads the team with 10.0 points per game, and Marshall averages 55.0 points while opponents are scoring 59.1.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 8-1 all-time against the Thundering Herd, including a one-point win in the Conference USA tournament last season in Memphis, Tenn. SMU is 2-1 against Marshall in Dallas. All nine contests have happened since SMU joined Conference USA for the 2005-06 season. The Mustangs won the first meeting 72-57 on the road on Jan. 29, 2006. Last season, Akil Simpson scored 20 with 15 rebounds to lead SMU to a 55-53 win at Marshall, and then scored 15 with 10 rebounds as SMU held on for a 53-52 win in the first round of the C-USA Championship.
LAST TIME OUT - UTEP
Keena Mays scored 26 points and Alisha Filmore finished with 21 to lead SMU to an 82-73 win at UTEP, which received votes in the top 25 polls each of the last six weeks, in the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Mustangs remained perfect in Conference USA, improving to 7-0, 16-4 overall, and stretched the win streak to eight games, matching the second-longest streak in school history.
The Mustangs pushed their halftime lead to as many as 18 points in the second half, 68-50 with 8:26 left, but UTEP (17-3, 5-2) didn't back out of the fight. The Miners cut the lead to seven, 70-63 with 5:46 left in the game, out-scoring the Mustangs 13-2 over the stretch. The lead was eight with 2:17 left, but the Mustangs made all six of their free throw attempts down the stretch to hold on for the win.
The Mustangs received votes in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Top 25 Polls after an 82-73 win at (RV) UTEP (17-3, 5-2 C-USA) to extend SMU's win streak to eight games and improve to 7-0 in C-USA. SMU is receiving votes for the first time since Feb. 1, 2010.
Junior transfer Keena Mays has established herself as a candidate for Conference USA Player of the Year after scoring at least 20 points in seven of her first 12 games at SMU, including a career-high 33 points against Stephen F. Austin. She scored 26 points in an 82-73 win at UTEP, which has received votes in seven straight polls, earning her third C-USA Player of the . Mays is averaging 20.2 points per game, which would lead the conference and rank 17th in the NCAA if she met the 75 percent of the team's games minimum. Her 3-point percentage, 43.8, would also lead the conference and rank 10th nationally.
CHASING 1,000 POINTS
Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in 16 games this season, including eight of the last 10, with a season-high 22 in the win over Harvard. She is 15th in C-USA, averaging 12.5 points per game and is seventh in the league shooting 35.0 percent from 3-point range. She scored 21 at UTEP and now has 931 points in her career, needing to 69 with 9 games left in the regular season to become the 20th player in program history with 1,000 career points.
TAKE IT AWAY
SMU is 34th in the country, averaging 11.6 steals per game, and is 24th in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 5.0 more turnovers per game. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 46 steals, and is 11th in the league with 2.3 per game. Korina Baker has 41 steals, 13th in C-USA with 2.1 per game. Baker is also 96th in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio, and freshman Gabrielle Wilkins has 31 steals on the season, with a C-USA record-tying 10 against SIUE.
RUNNING THE POINT
Korina Baker has a team-high 72 assists and is eighth in the league with 3.6 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 10 points four times this season, averaging 6.3 points.
DOMINANT OUTSIDE THE ARC
The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are ninth in the NCAA, shooting 37.5 percent from the perimeter, making 107 of 285 3-point attempts. Korina Baker is second in C-USA, going 25-for-62 from distance, 40.3 percent. Keena Mays, who doesn't meet the minimums for rankings, is shooting 43.8 percent, which would lead the conference and rank 17th nationally. Mays has made 35 of 80 attempts in 12 games, including a career-high six against Rice. SMU leads C-USA and is 26th in NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 26.2 percent. The last four opponents are a combined 11-for-59 from behind the arc.
In conference games, the Mustangs are scoring more points, 70.6, than any team in the league, and SMU is second in C-USA overall, 69.4. Three of SMU's five starters average at least 10 points against C-USA opponents, led by Keena Mays with 17.0 per game, which is fourth in the league. Alisha Filmore is averaging 12.0, and Akil Simpson is scoring 10.9.
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.
ROMPOLA CLOSING IN ON 400 WINS
SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has won 396 games during her career at SMU. With four 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.
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.
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 12 games, including 11 of the last 15, after reaching 70 just four times last season. SMU had two players eclipse 20 points in consecutive games and had multiple 20-point scorers for the third time this season in the 82-73 win at UTEP. The Mustangs are averaging 69.4 points per game, more than 10 points more than last year. Keena Mays leads the league with 20.2 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.5 per game. Akil Simpson is averaging 10.3 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.
THREE OF A KIND
SMU's three starting guards each have at least 25 3-point field goals, led by Keena Mays, shooting what would be a league-high 43.8 percent, 35-of-80. Korina Baker is second in the conference shooting 40.3 percent from behind the arc, making 25 of 62, and is shooting 50.0 percent in C-USA games. Senior Alisha Filmore has made 28 3-pointers, seventh in the league at 35.0 percent from behind the arc. As a team, the Mustangs have made at least five in 13 games, including seven of the last nine. SMU made a season-high 10 in 16 attempts at TCU and hit 10 of 20 against Rice.
After scoring just 25 points in the first five games, Akil Simpson has scored at least 10 points 11 times this season, including eight of the last 11 games with a season-high 20 points at San Diego State. The junior is sixth in Conference USA, shooting 47.0 percent from the field, and leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game, 11th in C-USA. She has three double-doubles this season.
SMU has had two players score at least 20 points three times this season. Keena Mays and Akil Simpson first accomplished the feat with 26 and 20 at San Diego State. Mays and Alisha Filmore then teamed up for 25 and 22 in the next game against Harvard. Mays scored 26 and Filmore finished with 21 in an 82-73 win at UTEP.
Out of 343 NCAA Division I women's basketball teams, SMU is ranked in the top 50 in eight categories. The Mustangs are ninth in the country in 3-point field goal percentage, 37.5, and 26th in 3-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 26.2 percent. Winning 80.0 percent of games, SMU is 31st in the country in win-lost percentage.
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.
NOT EVEN CLOSE
SMU has earned 10 of its 16 wins by at least 10 points, including five by more than 20. The Mustangs are third in C-USA and 46th in the NCAA in scoring margin, out-scoring opponents by an average of 10.6 points per game. SMU leads the league, out-scoring conference opponents by 13.0 points. The Mustangs doubled up UT-Pam Am, 71-35, for the largest margin of victory, 36, since beating Memphis 93-49 on Feb. 14, 2008.