Feb. 27, 2014
The Last Meeting
January 4, 2014
Mustangs Fall To USF In Moody Coliseum Opener, 76-62
DALLAS (SMU) - Akil Simpson scored 12 points, becoming the 21st Mustang to reach the 1,000 career point plateau in the opener for the newly-renovated Moody Coliseum, but the USF Bulls pulled out the league win, 76-62, on Saturday afternoon.
SMU plays its final road game of the regular season Saturday at 6 p.m. CT in Tampa, Fla., against USF. With a win against the Bulls, the Mustangs would clinch the No. 5 seed in the American Athletic Conference tournament March 7-10 in Uncasville, Conn. An SMU win in Tampa would set up a third game against the Bulls this season, pairing the two teams against each other in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament on March 8.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - USF
The Bulls are a game back of Rutgers for third in The American with an 11-5 record in the league, 16-11 overall. Courtney Williams leads the team and ranks seventh in the conference with 15.7 points per game, and is second with 6.9 rebounds. Inga Orekhova is averaging 10.4 points, and Alisia Jenkins is scoring 9.6 per game. Jenkins is also averaging a conference-high 9.8 rebounds.
The Bulls lead the all-time series 2-0 after taking the first meeting this season 76-62 in the first game in newly-renovated Moody Coliseum, despite a 26-point performance from Keena Mays. Four players scored in double figures for USF in the win. The Bulls also won the first meeting of the series 61-55 in the second game of the BTI Classic in Las Vegas Dec. 19, 2010.
LAST TIME OUT - NO. 1/1 CONNECTICUT
In front of a record crowd of 4,091 fans, the SMU Mustangs hung tough with the No. 1 Connecticut Huskies through most of the first half, but ultimately fell, 81-48, at Moody Coliseum on Tuesday night. The attendance marked the highest for a regular season game in the program's history at Moody Coliseum.
Mays would total two three-pointers for the game, moving to within five of the single-season school record held by Jillian Samuels, who drained 72 threes in the 2007-08 campaign. Mays finished with 13 points, scoring in double-digits for the 26th time in 27 games this season. The senior now needs just 23 points to reach the 1,000-point plateau at SMU. Simpson also scored 10-plus with 11, marking her 24th contest in double figures. Simpson now has 1,186 points in her career, and needs just two to tie Samuels for 14th all-time at SMU. Perry and Raven Short each knocked down two three-pointers for the Mustangs.
UP NEXT - UCF
SMU hosts UCF on Senior Night in the final regular-season game Monday at 7 p.m. SMU fell on the road against UCF (10-17, 3-13 The American) earlier this season. Zykira Lewis leads the active roster with 12.1 points, and Sara Djassi is scoring 11.3 per game. The Knights started the season 7-1, but a double-overtime loss at FAU triggered a run of 11 losses in 12 games.
Series History: SMU is 8-4 all-time against UCF, but the Knights have won back-to-game games against the Mustangs. The Mustangs won four straight games over UCF from 2010-2013, including a 69-54 home win on Jan. 13, 2013. SMU is 6-0 against the Knights in Moody Coliseum.
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 30th in the NCAA with 20.5 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 15 times this season, including games against Connecticut and Louisville, and also ranks among the league's leaders in assists (8th-3.6/game), steals (4th-2.1/game), and three-point percentage (2nd-38.1 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 67 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 131 in two seasons on the Hilltop. She needs two more to rank third at SMU.
Keena Mays scored the 1,000th point of her career at Cincinnati. She is 22 points away from reaching the 1,000-point mark at SMU. In 49 games on the Hilltop, Mays has scored 978 points, including 554 this season, becoming just the fourth player in program history to score 500 in a season, and could become just the second player in program history with 600 in a season. She passed Jennifer McLaughlin (1994-95) for second in a season with 24 points at Memphis. 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 24 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 41st in the NCAA, shooting 53.2 percent from the field. She is averaging 13.9 points, ninth in The American, with 8.3 rebounds, sixth 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. She has 1,187 points and passed Christine Elliott and Lisa Davis to climb to 15th all-time at SMU with 20 points at Memphis. Jillian Samuels is 14th with 1,188 points from 2006-10, and Andrea Cossey is 13th with 1,206 points from 2000-04.
BATTLING THE BEST
The Mustangs have played five games against a ranked opponent this season (Tennessee, Louisville twice, and UConn twice). 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. There are currently three ranked teams in The American.
Kiara Perry has scored at least 10 points 10 times, including six of the last 12 games. She was named Freshman of the Week in The American on Dec. 30. In conference games, she is shooting 35.9 percent and averaging 8.4 points with 4.7 rebounds.
GET THE BALL
The Mustangs have forced 468 turnovers on the season, while committing 429, and are averaging 17.7 points off turnovers per game. SMU is 10-4 when committing fewer turnovers than opponents, and ranks fourth in the conference with a +1.44 turnover margin. SMU has 201 steals this season, averaging 7.4 per game. Five players have at least 20 steals, led by Mays' 56.
PASSING THE ROCK
The Mustangs have recorded 411 assists on 668 field goals this season, ranking fourth in The American with 15.2 assists per game. SMU is fourth in the league with a 1.0 assist/turnover margin. Keena Mays leads the team with 97 assists, including a season-high eight three times, ranking eighth in the league with 3.6 per game. Korina Baker has 94 assists, and is 10th with 3.5 per game. She recorded a season-high eight at Memphis.
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.