Feb. 26, 2013
The Last Meeting
January 10, 2013
New Orleans, La.
Mustangs Earn Hard Fought Win At Tulane To Start C-USA Schedule
NEW ORLEANS (SMU) - Keena Mays scored a put-back bucket off her own miss to give SMU a 55-51 lead with 2:14 left, and the Mustangs made all six of their free throws in the last 36 seconds to take a 62-56 win at Tulane in Devlin Fieldhouse Thursday night in the Conference USA opener, snapping a string of seven straight wins by the home team in the series.
The Mustangs (20-6, 11-2 Conference USA) begin the final homestand of the year against second-place Tulane (20-6, 9-4 C-USA) Thursday night at 7 p.m. with a chance to clinch at least a share of the Conference USA regular season title. SMU will play the final game in Moody Coliseum Sunday agaisnt UTEP at 2 p.m. Senior Alisha Filmore will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS
SMU: The Mustangs are to 20-6, 11-2 in C-USA, and hold a two-game lead in the conference with three games left. Keena Mays scored 29 points agaisnt Tulsa for her ninth 20-point performance in 18 games, and is averaging a league-best 19.8 points per game, shooting 43.1 percent from 3-point range. SMU leads the conference and ranks 13th in the country in 3-point percentage, 36.9, and the Mustangs are scoring 69.1 points per game, second in the conference.
TULANE: The Green Wave is tied for second in C-USA at 9-4, 20-6 overall, and ranks just behind SMU in scoring offense, 66.7 points per game, and 3-point percentage, 33.0 percent. Whitney Bibbins leads the team with 12.4 points per game, and Danielle Blagge scores 10.1, shooting 37.4 percent from 3-point range.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 13-15 all-time agaisnt the Green Wave. The two teams split the season series with each team winning its home game each of the last three seasons before SMU won in 62-56 in New Orleans in the first conference game this season. Keena Mays had 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists in her C-USA debut, and Alisha Filmore scored 11. SMU first played Tulane on Jan. 26, 1980, but the Green Wave won 72-62 in Dallas.
UP NEXT - UTEP
The Miners are in a three-way tie for the fourth and final first round bye in the C-USA Championship with a 7-6 record in league play, 19-7 overall. UTEP is fourth in the league in scoring offense, averaging 66.1 points per game, and the Miners boast the league's top field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 34.0 percent from the floor. Anete Steinberga leads the team with 14.8 points and grabs 7.0 rebounds per game.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 23-10 all-time against the Miners, and have won seven of the last 11 in the series. SMU has also won three of the last four at home. SMU won the first meeting between the two schools 69-63 in Dallas on Jan. 10, 1997, starting a string of eight straight wins for the Mustangs. Keena Mays scored 26 points and Alisha Filmore added 21 to lead SMU to an 82-73 win at UTEP on Feb. 3 in the first meeting this season. At the time, the Miners were receiving votes in the Top 25 polls.
LAST TIME OUT - HOUSTON
Senior Alisha Filmore scored nine points to become the 20th player in SMU history with 1,000 career points, and Keena Mays finished with 15 points, but Houston matched its season high with eight 3-pointers to take a 65-58 win in Hofheinz pavilion Sunday.
Keena Mays led the Mustangs (20-6, 11-2 Conference USA) with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Akil Simpson finished with 12 points and five boards. The Mustangs held Porsche Landry, Houston's leading scorer, to just nine points, but Alecia Smith scored 18 to lead the Cougars (12-14, 6-7 C-USA) and Yasmeen Thompson added 13 with 13 rebounds.
SMU led by three after a Mays' 3-pointer but the Mustangs up 47-44 with 10:49 left in the game, but four minutes later it was a Smith 3-point basket putting the Cougars up 55-52 with 6:16 left. SMU was held to just six more points, and Houston made another pair of 3's down the stretch to keep the advantage and take the win.
The Mustangs received votes in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Top 25 Polls for the fourth straight week after winning 20 games for the ninth time in program history. SMU picked up an additional three votes in the AP poll and remains in first place in Conference USA with an 11-2 record.
Junior transfer Keena Mays has established herself as a candidate for Conference USA Player of the Year after scoring at least 20 points in nine of her first 17 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, and finished with 29 at home against Tulsa. Mays is averaging 19.8 points per game, which would lead the conference and rank 20th in the NCAA if she met the 75 percent of the team's games minimum. Her 3-point percentage, 43.1, would also lead the conference and rank ninth nationally.
1,000 CAREER POINTS
Senior Alisha Filmore became the 20th player in SMU history with 1,000 career points, scoring nine against Houston to push her total to 1,001. She has scored at least 10 in 19 games this season, including 11 of the last 15, with a season-high 22 in the win over Harvard. She is 16th in Conference USA with 12.3 points per game and is sixth in the league, shooting 33.7 percent from 3-point range.
TAKE IT AWAY
SMU is 56th in the country, averaging 10.6 steals per game, and is 39th in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 3.85 more turnovers per game. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 59 steals, and is tied for ninth in the league with 2.3 per game. Korina Baker has 44 steals, and is also 93rd in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio. Keena Mays has 44 steals, and freshman Gabrielle Wilkins has 37 steals on the season, with a C-USA record-tying 10 against SIUE.
RUNNING THE POINT
Korina Baker has a team-high 94 assists and is seventh 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 nine times. She also scored a career-high 17 points against UCF, and has reached 10 points five times this season.
DOMINANT OUTSIDE THE ARC
The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are 13th in the NCAA, shooting 36.9 percent from the perimeter, making 143 of 388 3-point attempts. Korina Baker is fifth in C-USA, going 29-for-85 from distance, 34.1 percent, and Alisha Filmore is sixth at 33.7 percent, 33-for-98. Keena Mays, who doesn't meet the minimums for rankings, is shooting 43.1 percent, which would lead the conference and rank ninth nationally. Mays has made 56 of 130 attempts in 18 games, including a career-high six against Rice. SMU is also third in C-USA and 19th in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 25.9 percent.
In conference games, the Mustangs are scoring a league-high 69.5 points. Three of SMU's starters rank in the top 21 in the league in scoring in C-USA games, averaging at least 10 points. Keena Mays leads the team with 18.0 points per game, third, and has scored at least 25 in four of the last 10 games. Alisha Filmore is tied for 15th with 11.8 per game, and Akil Simpson is 21st with 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 REACHES 400 WINS
SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola earned her 400th win with a 69-60 victory over Tulsa in Moody Coliseum Thursday night, more than any other head coach of any sport on the Hilltop. Rompola, who is the single season record holder at SMU with 683 points during the 1981-82 season, has led the Mustangs to nine 20-win seasons during her 22-year career at the helm of the SMU women's basketball program as the Mustangs improved to 20-5, 11-1 in Conference USA. Rompola has guided the Mustangs to 12 postseason appearances, including seven trips to the NCAA Tournament.
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 14 games, including six of the last 10. 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 69.1 points per game, which ranks 49th in the NCAA. Keena Mays leads the league with 19.8 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.3 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 43.1 percent, 56-of-130. Korina Baker is fifth in the conference shooting 34.1 percent from behind the arc, making 29 of 85. Senior Alisha Filmore has made 33 3-pointers, and is sixth in the league at 33.7 percent from behind the arc. As a team, the Mustangs have made at least five in 16 games, including 10 of the last 15. SMU made a season-high 10 in 16 attempts at TCU and hit 10 of 20 against Rice.
Akil Simpson has scored at least 10 points 15 times this season, including eight of the last 10, and scored a season-high 20 points at San Diego State. The junior is sixth in Conference USA, shooting 47.1 percent from the field. She leads the team averaging 8.3 rebounds, eighth in C-USA, and grabbed a career-high 17 at Memphis with 13 points for her sixth double-double of the season.
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 50 in six categories. The Mustangs are 13th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage, 36.9, and 19th in 3-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 25.9 percent. Winning 76.9 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 20 wins by at least 10 points, including five by more than 20. The Mustangs are second in C-USA and 57th in the NCAA in scoring margin, out-scoring opponents by an average of 8.6 points per game. SMU leads the league, out-scoring conference opponents by 7.9 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.