Feb. 15, 2013
The Last Meeting
March 8, 2012
Mustangs Knocked Out Of C-USA Championship With 77-67 Loss To Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (SMU) - Akil Simpson posted her second double-double of the postseason and ninth of the year with 11 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to lift SMU over Memphis as the Tigers (24-6) eliminated the Mustangs (14-17) from the Conference USA Championship with a 77-67 win in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Thursday.
League-leading SMU (18-5, 9-1 C-USA) concludes a two-game road trip at Memphis (14-10, 5-5) Sunday at 2 p.m. CT. The Mustangs return to Moody Coliseum on Thursday to take on Tulsa (10-13, 5-5 C-USA) at 7 p.m.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS
SMU: The Mustangs had won 10 straight games before falling at ECU, and received votes in both top 25 polls for the second straight week. Keena Mays, who was named C-USA Player of the Week for the fourth time, leads the league's top scoring offense, 69.4 points per game, averaging 19.7 points. Alisha Filmore is scoring 11.9 points per game, and needs 45 points to become the 20th 1,000 point scorer in program history. SMU is 10th in the country, shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range, and 31st with 11.1 steals per game.
MEMPHIS: The Tigers are 14-10 overall, 5-5 in Conference USA, and have lost three of their last five games despite leading the league in field goal percentage, 41.4. Memphis is tied for first with SMU in C-USA, scoring 69.4 points per game, but last in scoring defense, allowing 65.5 points. Nicole Dickson is ranked at the top of the conference with 19.5 points per game and averages 7.1 rebounds. Ariel Hearn scores 13.7 per game, 12th in the league.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 5-4 all-time against the Pirates, but have won five of the last six, including a 68-44 win last season. SMU is 1-2 against East Carolina in Greenville. The two teams first met on Jan. 27, 2006 when ECU won 75-63 at home.
UP NEXT - TULSA
The Golden Hurricane is 10-13 overall, 5-5 in Conference USA, and has won its last three straight. Tulsa is in the bottom five in the league in both scoring offense, 62.4, and scoring defense, 61.4. Taleya Mayberry leads the team with 18.3 points per game, and Kelsee Grovey adds 10.3. Tiffani Couisnard grabs a team-high 9.1 rebounds per game.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 24-13 all-time against Tulsa. SMU has won seven of the last 10, including a 71-46 win in the first matchup this season. Keena Mays led four Mustangs in double-figures with 12 points. SMU is 15-5 against Tulsa in Dallas, and the Mustangs have won three of the last four on their home floor. The series started on Nov. 30, 1981 when SMU won 86-64 in Dallas.
LAST TIME OUT - EAST CAROLINA
For the second time in three games, the Mustangs faced the team ranked as the top scoring defense in Conference USA, but this time the defense prevailed as East Carolina ended SMU's 10-game win streak with a 63-47 win in Minges Coliseum Thursday night.
Destynee Hives-McCray led the Mustangs (18-5, 9-1 C-USA) with 17 points and eight rebounds. Akil Simpson added eight points and eight rebounds, but the league's scoring leader, Keena Mays, was held to just eight points as ECU (17-6, 7-3 C-USA) never let her get into a rhythm offensively.
The Pirates, led by Celeste Stewart's 26 points, out-scored SMU 40-25 in the second half to hand the Mustangs their first conference loss. SMU shot 34.5 percent for the game, but East Carolina knocked down 42.6 percent from the field. The Mustangs committed an uncharacteristic 23 turnovers, leading to 23 ECU points.
The Mustangs received votes in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Top 25 Polls for the second straight week after stretching the win streak to 10 games and improving to 9-0 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 eight of her first 15 games at SMU, including a career-high 33 points against Stephen F. Austin. She scored 29 points to lead SMU to a triple-overtime win against UAB, earning her fourth C-USA Player of the Week Award. Mays is averaging 19.7 points per game, which would lead the conference and rank tied for 18th in the NCAA if she met the 75 percent of the team's games minimum. Her 3-point percentage, 43.6, would also lead the conference and rank tied for 15th nationally.
CHASING 1,000 POINTS
Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in 17 games this season, including nine of the last 12, with a season-high 22 in the win over Harvard. She is 16th in C-USA, averaging 11.9 points per game and is 10th in the league, shooting 33.7 percent from 3-point range. She has 955 points in her career, needing to 45 with six games left in the regular season to become the 20th player in program history with 1,000 career points.
TAKE IT AWAY
SMU is 41st in the country, averaging 11.1 steals per game, and is 43rd in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 3.9 more turnovers per game. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 53 steals, and is tied for 10th in the league with 2.3 per game. Korina Baker has 42 steals, and is also 85th in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio. Keena Mays has 39 steals, and freshman Gabrielle Wilkins has 35 steals on the season, with a C-USA record-tying 10 against SIUE.
RUNNING THE POINT
Korina Baker has a team-high 86 assists and is seventh 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 nine times. She also scored a career-high 17 points against UCF, and has reached 10 points five times this season, averaging 5.9 points.
DOMINANT OUTSIDE THE ARC
The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are 12th in the NCAA, shooting 37.3 percent from the perimeter, making 125 of 335 3-point attempts. Korina Baker is second in C-USA, going 28-for-72 from distance, 38.9 percent. Keena Mays, who doesn't meet the minimums for rankings, is shooting 41.4 percent, which would lead the conference and rank tied for 15th nationally. Mays has made 46 of 111 attempts in 15 games, including a career-high six against Rice. SMU is third in C-USA and 26th in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 26.1 percent.
In conference games, the Mustangs are scoring a league-high 70.2 points. Four of SMU's starters rank in the top 25 in the league in scoring in C-USA games, averaging at least 10 points. Keena Mays leads the team with 17.3 points per game, third, and has scored at least 25 in three of the last seven games. Akil Simpson is 18th with 11.1 per game, and Alisha Filmore is 21st with 10.8. Destynee Hives-McCray is 23rd in the league with 10.1 points in C-USA games.
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 398 games during her career at SMU. With two 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.
SMU put up 94 points against UAB in a triple-overtime win, the most since beating UT-Arlington 97-66 on Dec. 8, 2007. The Mustangs scored 88 points against Harvard, the most in regulation since Dec. 28, 2008 when they scored 92 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and have scored at least 70 in 13 games, including 12 of the last 18. 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, which ranks 65th in the NCAA. Keena Mays leads the league with 19.7 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 11.9 per game. Akil Simpson is averaging 10.4 per game, and the trio has each had at least 20 points in a game. Sophomore Destynee Hives-McCray became the fourth Mustang 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 41.4 percent, 46-of-111. Korina Baker is second in the conference shooting 38.9 percent from behind the arc, making 28 of 72, and is shooting 44.1 percent in C-USA games. Senior Alisha Filmore has made 28 3-pointers, 10th in the league at 33.7 percent from behind the arc. As a team, the Mustangs have made at least five in 15 games, including nine of the last 12. 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 13 times this season, including six of the last seven, and scored a season-high 20 points at San Diego State. The junior is sixth in Conference USA, shooting 46.4 percent from the field, and leads the team with 7.9 rebounds per game, 10th in C-USA. She has five double-doubles this season and 16 in her career.
SMU has had two players score at least 20 points in the same game 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 55 in eight categories. The Mustangs are 12th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage, 37.3, and 26th in 3-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 26.1 percent. Winning 78.3 percent of its games, SMU is 36th 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 11 of its 18 wins by at least 10 points, including five by more than 20. The Mustangs are second in C-USA and 54th in the NCAA in scoring margin, out-scoring opponents by an average of 9.3 points per game. SMU leads the league, out-scoring conference opponents by 9.4 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.