Women's Basketball

Mustangs Host Texas Southern Thursday In WNIT

Go smu!
Go smu!

Go smu!

March 18, 2014

 SMU (17-13) vs. Texas Southern (20-12)
 Date & Tip Time  Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m.
 Location  Moody Coliseum - Dallas, Texas
 Tickets  214-768-4263 or smumustangs.com/tickets
 Free Video  PonyUp TV
 Radio  KAAM 770 AM - Dallas
 Live Stats  Gametracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (.pdf)
 Facebook  /SMUMustangs   |   /SMUBasketballW
 Twitter  @SMUMustangs   |   @SMUBasketballW
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The Last Meeting
Texas Southern50
November 12, 2012
Moody Coliseum
Singleton Scores Career High To Lead SMU To Win Over Texas Southern
DALLAS (SMU) - Mallory Singleton scored a career-high 16 points to lead SMU to a 66-50 win over Texas Southern in Moody Coliseum Monday night. Singleton was one of four Mustangs to score in double-figures, with Alisha Filmore and Korina Baker scoring 12, and Destynee Hives-McCray added 11.

SMU is advancing to the postseason for the fifth time in the last seven seasons, hosting Texas Southern at 7 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the WNIT. The Mustangs are making their 13th postseason appearance since Rhonda Rompola became head coach in 1991. SMU is 17-13 on the season, led by Keena Mays, who scored a league-high 20.8 points per game and shot a conference-best 38.8 percent from 3-point range with an SMU single-season record 78 made 3-point field goals.

The Lady Tigers finished second in the SWAC with a 15-3 record, and went 20-12 overall. Jazzmin Parker was named SWAC Player of the Year after averaging 19.1 points, shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range. Brianna Sidney scored 12.6 points, and Texas Southern scored 70.6 per game and shot 43.6 percent from the field as a team.

Series History: This is the third postseason matchup between the two teams, but the first since the 1981 TAIAW playoffs. The Lady Tigers beat SMU 72-48 in the 1979 TAIAW tournament, but SMU has won four straight in the series for a 4-1 record overall. The Mustangs beat Texas Southern 66-50 last season. Mallory Singleton scored a game-high 16 points in the win, and Keena Mays was still ineligible due to NCAA transfer rules.

The SMU Mustangs led No. 24 Rutgers by six at halftime, but SMU was not able to hold on as the Mustangs fell to the Scarlet Knights, 68-49, in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday. Senior Keena Mays led all scorers with 23 points, eclipsing 20 for the 18th time this season. The guard went 7-of-14 from the field, and was 5-of-10 from behind the arc. Rutgers scored the first seven points of the second half to go up 31-30, but two free throws from Mays and a steal and fast-break layup from Korina Baker restored SMU's advantage, 34-31, with 17:14 to go. Rutgers again answered back with a 12-3 run to take a 43-37 lead at the 10:14 mark of the second. Rutgers went up by double-digits, 49-39, less than two minutes later, and SMU would not get closer than within seven points the rest of the way.

With a win, the Mustangs would face the winner between Green Bay and Minnesota at Minnesota Wednesday night. Green Bay won the Horizon League regular-season title with a 13-3 record, but fell to Wright State in the tournament championship game. Three Green Bay players average in double figures, led by Kaili Lukan with 11.4. The Phoenix are scoring 68.7 points as a team, while holding opponents to 59.5 per game. Minnesota is 20-12 overall, and went 8-8 in Big Ten play, led by Rachel Banham, who scores 22.0 points per game. Amanda Zahui averages a double-double with 14.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Minnesota is out-scoring opponents 68.9-63.2.

Series History: SMU has never faced either Green Bay or Minnesota.

SMU is 2-6 against five teams in the tournament field, but 1-1 against teams on the same side of the bracket. Five of the losses are against American Athletic Conference opponents, falling to USF twice and suffering three losses to Rutgers, but SMU would not face either team until the championship game. Lamar, a team SMU beat in the Curtis Culwell Center before the reopening of Moody Coliseum, is also on the opposite side. The Mustangs beat TCU and lost at UTEP, a pair of teams they could only face in the semifinals.

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.

Keena Mays leads the American Athletic Conference and ranks 30th in the NCAA with 20.8 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 18 times this season, including games against Connecticut and Louisville, and also ranks among the league's leaders in assists (10th-3.4/game), steals (3rd-2.1/game), and three-point percentage (1st-38.8 percent).

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.

Keena Mays has 78 3-pointers this season, eclipsing Jillian Samuels' former record of 72, set during the 2007-08 season. Mays made 64 in 23 games last season, and ranks third all-time at SMU with 142 in two seasons on the Hilltop. Samuels holds the all-time record with 249.

Keena Mays became the 22nd Mustang to score 1,000 points in her career at SMU on Saturday, March, 1 as she entered that game with 978 career points and totaled 22 at USF. The senior scored the 1,000th point of her career at Cincinnati earlier this season. In 51 games on the Hilltop, Mays has scored 1,049 points, including 625 this season, becoming just the fourth player in program history to score 500 in a season and the second player in program history with 600 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.

Akil Simpson is one of two Mustangs with at least 10 points in 26 games, including a season-high 23 against Temple on Feb. 1. The senior posted her 10th double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. UCF on senior day in Dallas. The Duncanville, Texas native now has 26 during for her career. She scored 11 points against No. 3/4 Tennessee and had 14 at No. 7/7 Louisville. Simpson leads the team, is eighth in the conference and ranks 65th in the NCAA, shooting 51.0 percent from the field. She is averaging 13.4 points, ninth in The American, with 8.4 rebounds, sixth in the conference.

Akil Simpson posted her 10th double-double of the season against UCF with 10 points and 10 rebounds becoming the first Mustang to record 10 in a season since Janelle Dodds posted 12 during the 2005-06 season. Simpson is now one of seven Mustangs with 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 now matches Karlin Kennedy for third all-time at SMU with 26 career double-doubles. Dodds and Shasta Smothers-Johnson hold the SMU record with 38 career double-doubles.

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 1,214 points and passed Andrea Cossey to climb to 13th all-time at SMU with 10 points vs. UCF. Delisha Wills is next on the list at 12th with 1,260 points from 2006-11.

The Mustangs have played six games against a ranked opponent this season (Tennessee, Rutgers, Louisville twice, and UConn twice), the most in a season in program history. 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, five opponents are currently in the top 10, and Rutgers was 24th when the teams met in The American tournament. Rutgers and UTEP were also receiving votes during the time of the three regular-season games against SMU.

Kiara Perry has scored at least 10 points 10 times, including six of the last 14 games. She was named Freshman of the Week in The American on Dec. 30. In conference games, she shot 35.1 percent and averaged 8.0 points with 4.5 rebounds.

The Mustangs have forced 512 turnovers on the season, while committing 475, and are averaging 17.3 points off turnovers per game. SMU is 10-5 when committing fewer turnovers than opponents, and ranks fourth in the conference with a +1.23 turnover margin. SMU has 219 steals this season, averaging 7.3 per game. Five players have at least 20 steals, led by Mays' 64.

The Mustangs have recorded 444 assists on 728 field goals this season, ranking fourth in The American with 14.8 assists per game. SMU is fourth in the league with a 0.9 assist/turnover margin. Korina Baker leads the team with 108 assists and ranks seventh in The American with 3.6 per game. The senior recorded a season-high eight at Memphis. Keena Mays has 103 assists, including a season-high eight three times, ranking 10th in the league with 3.4 per game.

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.

Keena Mays was a unanimous selection to the inaugural All-American Athletic Conference First Team. She won the regular season scoring title, averaging a league-high 20.8 points per game, and is one of just two players in the conference with more than 600 points this season, becoming just the second player in SMU history to reach 600 in a season. The Arlington, Texas, native also finished second in the league with a school-record 73 3-point field goals, and led the conference with a 38.2 shooting percentage behind the arc. She reached 1,000 points in just 51 games on the Hilltop.

Akil Simpson earned her third straight second-team all-conference award, averaging 13.7 points per game, ninth in The American, and a team-high 8.3 rebounds per game, seventh in the league. She became the 21st player to score 1,000 points in a career at SMU, reaching double figures in points 26 times in 29 games this season. She also became the first player with 10 double-doubles in a season at SMU since Janelle Dodds recorded 12 during the 2005-06 season. She scored a season-high 23 points in a win over Temple, and had a season-high 15 rebounds at UTEP. The forward from Duncanville, Texas, was also named to the All-Freshman team after the 2010-11 season.

Kiara Perry was named to the All-Freshman team, scoring 7.7 points with 4.8 rebounds per game. She scored at least 10 points 10 times this season, including seven conference games, and had a season-high 15 points against Memphis. She finished with a double-double at Rutgers, scoring 10 points with 10 rebounds, and led the Mustangs in rebounds three times this season.



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