Feb. 20, 2014
The Last Meeting
January 7, 2014
Mustangs Top Memphis, 80-75, In Double Overtime
DALLAS (SMU) - Akil Simpson tallied 22 points and 13 rebounds as SMU defeated Memphis, 80-75, in double-overtime at the newly-renovated Moody Coliseum on Tuesday night. The double-double is Simpson's fifth of the season.
The Mustangs play at Memphis in the FedEx Forum Saturday at 2 p.m. With a two-game lead over the Tigers in the conference standings, an SMU win would clinch a top-six finish in The American and clinch a first-round bye in the conference tournament March 7-10 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. The Mustangs are 15-10 overall, with a 6-8 record in The American, while Memphis is 11-15 overall and 4-10 in the league after losing its last five games.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - MEMPHIS
Ariel Hearn leads the team and ranks fourth in the league, averaging 17.3 points per game, and is also fourth in 3-point percentage, 37.3. She is the only player on the team averaging more than 10 points, but four players are scoring at least 7.0 per game.The Tigers are ninth in scoring defense, allowing 68.0 points per game, while scoring 63.5 as a team.
Series History: SMU went 6-3 against the Tigers while the two schools were members of Conference USA, and is 7-4 all-time against Memphis. SMU won five straight after Memphis won the first meeting, a 99-77 win on Dec. 10, 1994 in Memphis. After Memphis won three straight, SMU made it back-to-back victories with an 80-75 win in double overtime on Jan. 7 in Moody Coliseum.
LAST TIME OUT - HOUSTON
Keena Mays tied a career high with 34 points, hitting a personal-best seven three pointers to lead SMU to a 67-50 win over Houston at Moody Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. Akil Simpson added 14 points and 13 rebounds to record her ninth double-double of the season.
SMU led 34-24 at halftime behind 17 first half points from Mays, and the Mustangs would not let the Cougars get within single-digits for the remainder of the contest. SMU led by as many as 22 with 3:23 remaining after a Gabrielle Wilkins jumper gave SMU a 67-45 lead.
UP NEXT - NO. 1/1 UCONN
SMU will host the No. 1-ranked team in the country for the first time in program history Tuesday, taking on Connecticut at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum. The game will air live on ESPN3.com, and fans with Sportsnet New York (SNY) or ESPN Full Court can watch on television. The Huskies are 27-0, 14-0 in The American, and all five starters average at least 10 points. Breanna Stewart leads the league's top scoring offense, 84.1 points per game, with 19.4 per game. Stefanie Dolson is just under a double-double average with 12.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Moriah Jefferson leads the league in assists with 5.3 per game, and Connecticut is holding opponents to a national-low 47.2 points per game.
Series History: The Huskies won the first meeting between the two schools 102-41 in Storrs, Conn., on Feb. 4 this season, despite a 20-point performance by Keena Mays. Connecticut shot 76.9 percent in the second half, finishing the game with a 59.7 shooting percentage. The Huskies also made 12 of 20 3-point attempts.
Rhonda Rompola has led the Mustangs against 37 different conference opponents during her time as head coach. The American Athletic Conference is the fourth the SMU women's basketball team has been a member of, competing in the Southwest Conference, the Western Athletic Conference, and Conference USA before joining The American. SMU has played conference games in 22 different states, as far west as Hawaii and as far north as Idaho. This season, SMU added six new schools in five new states to its list of conference opponents.
LEADING THE LEAGUE
Keena Mays leads the American Athletic Conference and ranks 28th in the NCAA with 20.7 points per game, and is one of three players in the conference with multiple Player of the Week awards, earning her league-best fourth honor on Feb. 1 after scoring 24 against Cincinnati and 30 against Temple, reaching 30 for the third time this season. She has eclipsed 20 points 14 times this season, including games against Connecticut and Louisville, and also ranks among the league's leaders in assists (8th-3.8/game), steals (4th-2.2/game), and three-point percentage (4th-37.7 percent).
30 IS MAYS' MAGIC NUMBER
Keena Mays matched her career high with 34 points against Houston Saturday, becoming the first player in program history to score at least 30 four times in one season. She scored 34 at UTEP on Dec. 7, and finished with 32 in the next game at North Texas on Dec. 21. She also scored 30 against Temple on Feb. 1. Current SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola is the only other player to score 30 three times in a season at SMU, scoring 35 and 30 twice during the 1981-82 season.
RECORDS ARE MADE OUTSIDE THE ARC
Keena Mays has 63 3-pointers this season, closing in on Jillian Samuels' record of 72, set during the 2007-08 season. Mays made 64 in 23 games last season, and ranks seventh at SMU with 127 in two seasons on the Hilltop. She need six to rank third at SMU.
Keena Mays scored the 1,000th point of her career at Cincinnati. She is 59 points away from reaching the 1,000-point mark at SMU. In 48 games on the Hilltop, Mays has scored 941 points, including 517 this season, becoming just the fourth player in program history to score 500 in a season. She is 21 points from passing Jennifer McLaughlin (1994-95) for second in a season. Head coach Rhonda Rompola holds the single-season record with 683 points during the 1981-82 season. Mays scored 331 points in 42 games at Kansas before transferring to SMU.
SIMPSON IS A STAR
Akil Simpson is one of two Mustangs with at least 10 points in 22 games, including a season-high 23 against Temple on Feb. 1. The senior posted her ninth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds vs. Houston, and has 25 during her career, recording nine as a sophomore. She scored 11 points against No. 3/4 Tennessee and had 14 at No. 7/7 Louisville. Simpson leads the team, is sixth in the conference and ranks 50th in the NCAA, shooting 52.8 percent from the field. She is averaging 13.8 points, eighth in The American, with 8.4 rebounds, fifth in the conference.
DOUBLE OR NOTHING
Akil Simpson needs just one double-double to become the first person to record 10 in a season since Janelle Dodds posted 12 during the 2005-06 season. Only six Mustangs have recorded 10 double-doubles in a season, with Dodds and Shasta Smothers-Johnson accomplishing the feat twice. Smothers-Johnson holds the record with 15 double-doubles during the 1984-85 season. Simpson would also match Karlin Kennedy for third all-time at SMU with 26 career double-doubles. The senior is currently tied with Kim Brungardt with 25 career double-doubles. Dodds and Shasta Smothers-Johnson hold the SMU record with 38 career double-doubles.
REACHING A MILESTONE
Akil Simpson made the reopening of Moody Coliseum on Jan. 4 against USF a day that will live forever, becoming the 21st player to score 1,000 points during a career at SMU. The senior entered the game needing seven points to reach the milestone, and finished with 12 points, reaching double digits for the seventh straight game. She has 1,156 points, passing former teammate Alisha Filmore for 18th all-time at SMU with 15 at Houston. She needs three more points to pass Jillian Samuels for 15th all-time at SMU.
BATTLING THE BEST
The Mustangs have played four games against a ranked opponent this season (Tennessee, Louisville twice, and UConn), and play No. 1 Connecticut in Moody Coliseum Tuesday. SMU played five ranked opponents during the 2003-04 season, but just two games against a team ranked in the top 10 at the time of the game. This season, all five opponents are currently in the top 10. Rutgers and UTEP were also receiving votes during the time of the three games.
Kiara Perry has scored at least 10 points 10 times, including six of the last 11 games. She was named Freshman of the Week in The American on Dec. 30. In conference games, she is shooting 36.8 percent and averaging 8.4 points with 4.8 rebounds.
GET THE BALL
The Mustangs have forced 443 turnovers on the season, while committing 395, and are averaging 18.2 points off turnovers per game. SMU is 10-4 when committing fewer turnovers than opponents, and ranks fourth in the conference with a +1.9 turnover margin. SMU has 192 steals this season, averaging 7.7 per game. Seven players have at least 10 steals, led by Mays' 54.
PASSING THE ROCK
The Mustangs have recorded 384 assists on 623 field goals this season, good for fourth in The American with 15.4 assists per game. SMU is fourth in the league with a 1.0 assist/turnover margin. Keena Mays leads the team with 94 assists, including a season-high eight three times, and ranks eighth in the league with 3.9 per game. Korina Baker has 82 assists, and is tied for 11th with 3.3 per game.
MOODY GETS A FACELIFT
The $47 million renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum, which opened in December 1956, was completed in December, and the Mustangs will host all conference games on campus. The renovated Moody Coliseum will provide many new and improved features, including a renovated main entry lobby, expanded concourses with raised ceilings, club seats, loge boxes, private suites, group suites, new event space, offices, team locker rooms and meeting space.
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 23 seasons ago. Assistant coach Deneen Parker is in her 19th season with the Mustangs. The SMU staff has the second longest active tenure of any staff at one school. Danny Hughes is in his fifth year with the program.
Rhonda Rompola has led the Mustangs to the NCAA Tournament seven times and the WNIT five times in 22 seasons. SMU has won two conference tournament championships, winning the WAC tournament in 1999 and the C-USA tournament in 2008, and three regular-season titles under her leadership. She has coached three All-Americans, three Conference Players of the Year, two Conference Defensive Players of the Year, and 34 All-Conference selections.