March 19, 2013
SMU CONTINUES SEASON IN WNIT
The Mustangs (21-9, 12-4 Conference USA) won the C-USA regular-season championship and earned an invitation to the Women's National Invitation Tournament. SMU is advancing to its 18th postseason all-time and making an appearance in the WNIT for the fifth time. The Mustangs will face Bowling Green State in the first round in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Thursday at 6 p.m. CT.
SMU THIS SEASON
The Mustangs won 20 games for the ninth time in program history, including a school-record 15 home games. SMU is led by C-USA Player of the Year, Keena Mays, who is fourth in C-USA with 18.5 points per game and eclipsed 20 points nine times in 22 games. The guard also ranks sixth in the league with 3.8 assists per game. She was named C-USA Player of the Week four times, and shot a league-leading 40.7 percent from 3-point range, 61-of-150. Second team All-C-USA selections Alisha Filmore (12.2 ppg) and Akil Simpson (10.5 ppg) also averaged double figures for the Mustangs, who averaged 68.3 points per game. SMU is also the top 3-point shooting team in C-USA, making 35.9 percent from behind the arc, 18th in the NCAA.
SMU IN THE POSTSEASON
The Mustangs are advancing to the postseason for the 18th time in program history, and SMU is making its fifth appearance in the WNIT. The Mustangs advanced to the finals of the 1993 WNIT in head coach Rhonda Rompola's second season. SMU also competed in the WNIT in 2005 and made back-to-back appearances in 2009 and 2010. This is the first postseason berth for SMU since the 2010 WNIT.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
BOWLING GREEN STATE: The Falcons went 22-10 overall and posted an 11-5 record in the Mid-American Conference to finish second in the East Division. BGSU won five straight games to end the season before falling to eventual champion Central Michigan in the third round of the MAC tournament. Chrissy Steffen leads the team with 11.3 points per game, and Alexis Rogers averages 10.7 points with a team-high 6.0 rebounds per game. The Falcons average 62.3 points per game as a team, while holding opponents to 54.0 points. SMU has never played Bowling Green State.
With a win, the Mustangs would go on the road to play the winner between Akron and Duquesne in the second round.
AKRON: The Zips went 23-9 overall and won the MAC East Division, led by Rachel Tecca, who averages 18.5 points per game with a 52.6 shooting percentage at the post position. Hanna Luburgh scores 16.6 per game, and Sina King averages 15.0 points with a team-high 8.8 rebounds. The Zips average 75.7 points, while holding opponents to 67.0. SMU played Akron at home on Nov. 27, 2010, winning 75-67 in the Hoops for the Cure Tournament.
DUQUESNE: The Dukes went 23-7 overall, led by Wumi Agunbiade, who scored 13.0 points per game with 7.2 rebounds. She also had 44 blocks. Jocelyn Floyd scored 9.5 points per game, and has 144 steals to lead a defense which allows just 51.7 points per game. Duquesne scores 61.0 points as a team. SMU has never played Duquesne.
The Mustangs received votes in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Top 25 Polls for four straight weeks this after winning 20 games for the ninth time in program history. SMU earned as many as seven votes in the AP poll.
Junior transfer Keena Mays was named Conference USA Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year after leading the Mustangs to their third regular-season conference championship. She averages 18.5 points per game, and was named C-USA Player of the Week four times. She scored at least 20 points nine times in 22 games, and shoots a league-high 40.7 percent from 3-point range, which would rank 19th in the NCAA if she met the 75 percent of games minimum. She scored a career-high 33 points against Stephen F. Austin, and scored 29 against two conference foes.
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 is currently 18th all-time at SMU with 1,048. She has scored at least 10 in 23 games this season, including 15 of the last 19, with a season-high 22 against Harvard. She is 18th in C-USA with 12.2 points per game and ranks seventh, shooting 33.9 percent from 3-point range.
TAKE IT AWAY
SMU is 47th in the country, averaging 10.4 steals per game, and is 46th in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 3.47 more turnovers per game. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 65 steals, and is tied for 11th in the league with 2.2 per game. Keena Mays has 53 in 22 games, ranking sixth in C-USA with 2.4 per game. Korina Baker has 48 steals, and is also 84th in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio. Freshman Gabrielle Wilkins has 42 steals on the season, with a C-USA record-tying 10 against SIUE.
DOMINANT OUTSIDE THE ARC
The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are 18th in the NCAA, shooting 35.9 percent from the perimeter, making 166 of 463 3-point attempts. Keena Mays is shooting a league-best 40.7 percent, which ranks 19th nationally. Mays has made 61 of 150 attempts in 22 games, including a career-high six against Rice. Korina Baker is fifth in C-USA, going 36-for-104 from distance, 34.6 percent, and Alisha Filmore is seventh at 33.9 percent, 41-for-121. SMU is also third in C-USA and 35th in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 27.0 percent. The Mustangs have held opponents to three or less 3-point field goals 12 times.
THREE OF A KIND
SMU's three starting guards each have at least 35 3-point field goals, led by Keena Mays, shooting a league-high 40.7 percent, 61-of-150. Korina Baker is fifth in the conference shooting 34.6 percent from behind the arc, making 36 of 104. Senior Alisha Filmore has made 41 3-pointers, and is seventh in the league at 33.9 percent from behind the arc.
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 on Feb. 21, 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 are 21-8 this season, went 12-4 in Conference USA. Rompola has guided the Mustangs to 11 postseason appearances, including seven trips to the NCAA Tournament, and SMU has clinched at least a trip to the WNIT by winning the C-USA regular season crown.
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.
RUNNING THE POINT
Korina Baker has 107 assists and is tied for eighth 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 assists in a game 14 times. The junior transfer is 84th in the country in assist/turnover ratio, 1.57, with just 68 turnovers. She also scored a career-high 17 points against UCF, and has reached 10 points six times this season. She is fifth in C-USA with a 34.6 3-point percentage, and scores 5.7 points per game.
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 seven categories. The Mustangs are 18th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage, 35.9, and 35th in 3-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 27.0 percent. Winning 70.0 percent of its games, SMU is 60th in the country in win-lost percentage.
SMU IS DALLAS' TEAM
The SMU marketing slogan "SMU is Dallas' Team" is an accurate description of the women's basketball program. Since the start of the program in 1976, 72 of 105 letter winners were from Texas. This season, 12 of 14 players are Texas natives, and all 12 list hometowns in or around the DFW Metroplex. Of the four coaches, head coach Rhonda Rompola, a New Jersey native, is the only one not from Texas.
NOT EVEN CLOSE
SMU has earned 11 of its 21 wins by at least 10 points, including five by more than 20. The Mustangs are third in C-USA and 70th in the NCAA in scoring margin, out-scoring opponents by an average of 6.8 points per game. SMU led the league, out-scoring conference opponents by 5.5 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.
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 15 games, including seven of the last 13. 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 68.4 points per game, which ranks 55th in the NCAA. Keena Mays is second in the league with 19.3 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.2 per game. Akil Simpson is averaging 10.5 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.
Akil Simpson has scored at least 10 points 17 times this season, including 19 vs. UTEP to lead SMU to the C-USA regular season title. The junior scored a season-high 20 points at San Diego State, and is eighth in Conference USA, shooting 47.2 percent. She leads the team with 8.2 rebounds, ninth in C-USA, and grabbed a career-high 17 at Memphis with 13 points for her sixth double-double of the season. She scored at least 10 points in 10 of the last 14 games, including a string of six straight games, and shot at least 40 percent in 12 of 16 conference games, including five at higher than 60 percent.
Keena Mays was named to the All-Conference USA First Team by the conference's coaches and members of the media after leading the Mustangs to their third regular season conference title and the No. 1 seed in the C-USA Championship with a 12-4 record in league play, 21-8 overall. Senior Alisha Filmore and junior Akil Simpson were selected to the second team. Simpson was also named to the second team as a sophomore, and was tabbed for the All-Freshman team in 2011.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES
The Mustangs played 18 of 29 games in Moody Coliseum this season, setting a school record with 15 wins at home. SMU went 7-1 at home against Conference USA opponents, and lost three games by a combined 11 points. The Mustangs set the previous record with 13 wins in Moody Coliseum during the 2004-05 season, and matched the feat in 2009-10.
POLICING THE PAINT
Post players Akil Simpson and Destynee Hives-McCray combined for 41 blocks this season, and the Mustangs are fifth in Conference USA with 449 offensive rebounds. Simpson is second in the league with 115 offensive rebounds, and Hives-McCray is fifth with 96. The duo combines to average 14.6 rebounds per game.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Keena Mays was named Conference USA Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year by the conference's coaches and members of the media after leading the Mustangs to their third regular season conference title and the No. 1 seed in the C-USA Championship with a 12-4 record in league play, 21-8 overall.
Mays finished the regular season second in Conference USA with 19.3 points per game and eclipsed 20 points nine times in 21 games. The guard also ranked sixth in the league with 3.9 assists per game. She was named C-USA Player of the Week four times, and shot a league-leading 41.0 percent from 3-point range, making 59 of 144 attempts. The junior transfer posted two double-double, scoring 23 points with 11 rebounds in her first game at SMU, and finished with 29 points, including two buzzer-beaters, and 13 rebounds in a triple-overtime win against UAB.
Keena Mays was named as one of 52 All-Region finalists for the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association All-America Team, officials announced Monday. The Conference USA Player of the Year is one of six players selected as a finalist from Region 4.
Mays led the Mustangs to the 18th postseason appearance in program history, and the 12th since 1993 when Rhonda Rompola took SMU to the Women's National Invitational Tournament in her second season as head coach. The junior transfer is averaging 18.5 points per game and scored at least 20 in nine of 22 games.
She also leads the conference and ranks 19th in the NCAA, shooting 40.7 percent from 3-point range. Mays posted two double-doubles, scoring 23 points with 11 rebounds in her first game at SMU and had 29 points, including the game-winner, with 13 points in a triple-overtime win against UAB. She is third on the team with 5.8 rebounds per game, and is sixth in C-USA with 3.8 assists per game.
Once she became eligible, SMU won 12 of its next 14 games, including a 10-game win streak which included the first nine conference games. It marked just the second time the Mustangs won 10 straight, and came just two games shy of matching the longest streak in program history.
MOODY COLISEUM RENOVATION
Moody Coliseum is undergoing expansion and extensive renovation, providing many new and improved features that include new premium seating, renovation of the entry lobby and concourses and state-of-the-art upgrades. This project will revitalize Moody Coliseum as a preeminent collegiate sports arena and multi-purpose event facility, preserving its historical character while adding the most modern technological enhancements. Construction began in August 2012 with the expansion of the building's north facade followed by renovation of the interior space and infrastructure upgrades. The $47 million project is scheduled to be completed in December 2013.