March 1, 2013
The Last Meeting
February 3, 2013
El Paso, Texas
SMU Wins Eighth Straight To Remain Perfect In C-USA, Tops UTEP, 82-73
EL PASO, Texas (SMU) - 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.
SMU PLAYS FINAL HOME GAME SUNDAY
The Mustangs (20-7, 11-3 Conference USA) play their final home game, and the last game in Moody Coliseum before the renovation, Sunday against UTEP (19-8, 7-7 C-USA) at 2 p.m. Tickets are just $1. SMU has a chance to clinch at least a share of the C-USA regular season title, and senior Alisha Filmore will be honored in a pregame ceremony. The Mustangs close out the regular season Thursday at Rice in Houston at 7 p.m.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS
SMU: The Mustangs are to 20-7, 11-3 in C-USA, and hold a one-game lead in the conference with two games left. Keena Mays is averaging a league-leading 19.6 points per game, 23rd in the NCAA, and has scored at least 15 in seven of the last eight games. SMU ranks 12th in the country with a conference-best 36.6 3-point percentage, and the Mustangs are 25th in the nation and second in C-USA, holding opponents to 26.3 percent from behind the arc.
UTEP: The Miners are in a three-way tie for the fourth and final first round bye in the C-USA Championship with a 7-7 record in league play after losing four of their last five, and UTEP is 19-8 overall. UTEP is fourth in the league in scoring offense, averaging 65.9 points per game, and the Miners boast the league's top field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 34.2 percent from the floor. Anete Steinberga leads the team with 14.7 points and grabs 7.1 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.
UP NEXT - RICE
The Owls are 13-14 overall, 5-9 in C-USA after winning the last three, and are 11th in the league in scoring offense with 57.2 points per game. Jessica Kuster leads the team with 16.1 points per game, grabs a league-high 10.0 rebounds per game, and is the only player in the conference averaging a double-double. She is also second in Conference USA with 41 blocks.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs hold a 35-33 advantage in the all-time series, but SMU is just 13-23 against the Owls in Houston. SMU boast the longest winning streak in the series at five games from Feb. 15, 2007 to Feb. 22, 2009. Rice won the first meeting 57-54 in Houston during the 1978-79 season. SMU won the first meeting this season 73-51 in Dallas. Keena Mays scored 25 points, and Akil Simpson added 16 with 11 rebounds.
LAST TIME OUT - TULANE
Four players scored at least 10 points for the Mustangs, including Destynee Hives-McCray, who posted her fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and a 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as SMU (20-7, 11-3 Conference USA) fell 73-68 to Tulane (21-6, 10-4 C-USA) in Moody Coliseum Thursday night.
Keena Mays scored with 38 seconds left to tie the game 68-68, but the Green Wave got an offensive rebound on the ensuing possession and Jamie Kaplan hit her only 3-pointer of the game with 11 seconds left to give Tulane the lead. The Mustangs were forced to foul after a turnover with three seconds left, and Kaplan hit both free throws for the five-point victory.
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 19.6 points per game, which would lead the conference and rank 23rd in the NCAA if she met the 75 percent of the team's games minimum. Her 3-point percentage, 42.5, would also lead the conference and rank 11th 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 and had 10 vs. Tulane to take her total to 1,011. She has scored at least 10 in 20 games this season, including 12 of the last 16, with a season-high 22 in the win over Harvard. She is 16th in C-USA with 12.2 points per game and is seventh in the league, shooting 33.7 percent from 3-point range.
TAKE IT AWAY
SMU is 57th in the country, averaging 10.4 steals per game, and is 40th in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 3.78 more turnovers per game. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 61 steals, and is 10th in the league with 2.3 per game. Korina Baker has 44 steals, and is also 88th in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio. Keena Mays has 44 steals, and freshman Gabrielle Wilkins has 39 steals on the season, with a C-USA record-tying 10 against SIUE.
RUNNING THE POINT
Korina Baker has 100 assists and is seventh in the league with 3.7 per game. She handed out a career-high nine assists against Montana State. She also scored a career-high 17 points against UCF, and has reached 10 points six times this season. She is fourth in C-USA with a 35.6 3-point percentage.
DOMINANT OUTSIDE THE ARC
The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are 12th in the NCAA, shooting 36.6 percent from the perimeter, making 149 of 407 3-point attempts. Korina Baker is fourth in C-USA, going 32-for-90 from distance, 35.6 percent, and Alisha Filmore is seventh at 33.7 percent, 35-for-104. Keena Mays, who doesn't meet the minimums for rankings, is shooting 42.5 percent, which would lead the conference and rank 11th nationally. Mays has made 57 of 134 attempts in 18 games, including a career-high six against Rice. SMU is also second in C-USA and 25th in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 26.3 percent.
In conference games, the Mustangs are scoring a league-high 69.4 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 17.8 points per game, third, and has scored at least 15 in seven of the last eight games. Alisha Filmore is 18th with 11.7 per game, and Akil Simpson is 21st with 10.7.
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 51st in the NCAA. Keena Mays leads the league with 19.6 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.2 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 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 30 3-point field goals, led by Keena Mays, shooting what would be a league-high 42.5 percent, 57-of-134. Korina Baker is fourth in the conference shooting 35.6 percent from behind the arc, making 32 of 90. Senior Alisha Filmore has made 35 3-pointers, and is seventh in the league at 33.7 percent from behind the arc. As a team, the Mustangs have made at least five in 17 games, including 11 of the last 16. 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 16 times this season, including nine of the last 11, and scored a season-high 20 points at San Diego State. The junior is seventh in Conference USA, shooting 46.3 percent from the field. She leads the team averaging 8.2 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 60 in nine categories. The Mustangs are 12th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage, 36.6, and 25th in 3-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 26.3 percent. Winning 74.1 percent of its games, SMU is 50th 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 59th in the NCAA in scoring margin, out-scoring opponents by an average of 8.1 points per game. SMU leads the league, out-scoring conference opponents by 7.0 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.