Nov. 13, 2011
SMU FACES ARK.-LITTLE ROCK IN ROAD TEST
Radio: KAAM 770 AM Scott Garner (Play-by-Play)
Location: Little Rock, Ark. (Jack Stephens Center)
Live stats available on SMUMustangs.com
The Mustangs travel to Little Rock, Ark., to face Arkansas-Little Rock in the first road test on Nov. 14 before hosting TCU on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is sponsoring a Pack the House initiative during the TCU game. There will be a tailgate prior to the game, and hamburgers will be available, provided by the Hamburger Man.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
ARK.-LITTLE ROCK: The Trojans opened their season with a 52-48 win at home against Tulsa Friday night. Marian Kursh scored 20 points with nine rebounds in the win. UALR went 23-8 last season, winning the Sun Belt Conference with a 14-2 record, but return just two starters from last year's team. Chasity Reed was the only player to average double-figures, scoring 19.6 points per game as a senior. Returning starters Marian Kursh and Janette Merriex combined for 16.0 points per game. The Trojans held opponents to 52.5 points per game, forcing 525 turnovers, while averaging 58.4 points as a team.
Series History: This is the first meeting.
TCU: The Horned Frogs opened the season with an 83-60 loss at Georgia. Antoinette Thompson led TCU with 23 points, and Natalie Ventress scored 16. TCU lost its two leading scorers from last season, Emily Carter (17.8 ppg) and Helen Sverrisdottir (15.7 ppg), but Starr Crawford averaged 12.0 points per game as a sophomore.
Series History: SMU leads the all-time series 40-15, but the Horned Frogs won in Fort Worth last season, taking a double-overtime thriller 87-73. The first meeting came during the 1976-77 season, SMU's first year as a program, with SMU winning 58-52.
LAST GAME - ALCORN STATE
Samantha Mahnesmith scored a team-high 13 points and Krystal Johnsonadded a career-high 10 points to lead SMU to a 76-54 win over Alcorn State Saturday in Moody Coliseum to open the 2011-12 season.
The Mustangs opened the game on a 13-3 run and the Lady Braves never got within nine points the rest of the way, shooting just 28.4-percent from the field under the pressure of SMU's suffocating defense.
SMU shot 57.5-percent from the field, connecting on 23-of-40 shots including 4-of-9 from 3-point range. The Mustangs scored 26 points at the free throw line, shooting 76.5-percent from the stripe.
Christine Elliott was just one point from starting the season with a double-double, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes. SMU got 32 points from its bench, as 10 players all scored at least five points including freshmen Kristin Askew and Destynee Hives-McCray.
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 20 seasons ago. Assistant coach Deneen Parker joined the duo 16 years ago. 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 entering his third year with the program.
In the past five seasons, the Mustangs have had three 20-win seasons, won a Conference USA Tournament Championship, a C-USA Regular Season title, advanced to the NCAA Tournament and made two WNIT appearances.
1,000 POINT CLUB
Delisha Wills became the 18th player in SMU history to score at least 1,000 points in her career last season. Wills finished her career with 1,260 points, ranking 12th all-time at SMU. She also had 630 rebounds, 179 assists and shot 75.2-percent from the foul line.
Christine Elliott has 941 points and 692 rebounds through three seasons at SMU. The senior post player needs just 68 points to become the 19th player in SMU history to score 1,000 points and 18 rebounds to become the 10th player to grab 700 rebounds. Only seven players in school history have accomplished both feats.
SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has led the Mustangs to the NCAA Tournament seven times and the WNIT four times. The Mustangs have captured two conference tournament championships 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 30 All-Conference selections. Rompola has also been named Coach of the Year six times during her 20-year tenure.
LONG RANGE ASSASINS
Samantha Mahnesmith and Alisha Filmore were two of the top shooters from 3-point range last season. The Mustangs were third in the conference last season, shooting 30.2 percent on 3-point shots. Filmore led the team and was second in the league, shooting 42.9-percent from behind the arc. Samantha Mahnesmith was 13th in the conference with a 34.6 shooting percentage on 3-point attempts. Mahnesmith made a team-high 55 3-pointers last season, marking the 12th time a Mustang made at least 50 in a season. Mahnesmith has made 87 3-pointers in her career and needs 42 to climb into the top-five at SMU all-time.
Rhonda Gets 350
With a 69-61 win over UCF on Feb. 25, 2010, Mustang head coach Rhonda Rompola won her 350th career game and her 50th conference game since SMU joined Conference USA five years ago, the most wins of the five newest members. She currently has 367 career wins with a .609 winning percentage.
SMU Coaches Parker And Hughes Each Inducted Into Alma Mater's HOF
SMU women's basketball assistant coaches Deneen Parker and Danny Hughes were each inducted into their alma maters' hall of fame last season. Parker was honored for her superb career at Stephen F. Austin, which included two trips to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. Hughes was recognized for his two playing seasons and two coaching stints at Trinity Valley Community College.
C-USA TELEVISED GAMES ANNOUNCED
The SMU women's basketball team will be featured in a pair of television broadcasts during the upcoming 2011-12 season. The first televised matchup for head coach Rhonda Rompola and the Mustangs will be at home against Southern Miss at 1 p.m. (CT) Feb. 12 on the CBS Sports Network. Tip-off was originally scheduled for 2 p.m.
On Feb. 19, FSN will broadcast SMU's home matchup against Rice. The game time, originally slated for 2 p.m., will be moved up to a 12 p.m. CT start.
Basketball Texas Style
The SMU women's basketball team features 11 of 13 players from the state of Texas in 2011-12. Of the players from the Lone Star State, each lists their hometown as being less than 50 miles from the SMU campus.
Akil Simpson was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team last season. If her first year at SMU, she averaged 4.9 points and 4.2 rebounds. She averaged 16.3 minutes while playing in all 30 games with six starts. Simpson scored a season-high 17 points against then-No. 23 Texas on Dec. 18, going 7-for-7 at the free throw line. She pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds on Jan. 6 at Tulane.
Head coach Rhonda Rompola called the 2012-13 freshmen class one of best in the history of the SMU program. The class features three players from the DFW area and an All-Arkansas selection from Little Rock, Ark. Farrin Bell averages 20 points and five rebounds per game at Richardson High School. Nia Jackson scores 13 points with eight rebounds per contest at Argyle Liberty Christian High School in Keller, Texas. Gabrielle Wilkins leads Garland High School with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Lexus Williams puts up 12 points and 10 boards at North Little Rock High School.
TAKING WHATS FREE
The Mustangs led Conference USA during the 2010-11 season in free throw percentage, shooting 71.2-percent from the line. Senior Delisha Wills led the team, sinking 80-of-97 attempts to shoot 82.5-percent to lead the conference. Samantha Mahnesmith shot 81.3-percent, making 52-of-64 free throws. Alisha Filmore, Akil Simpson and Krystal Johnson all shot at least 70-percent. As a team, the Mustangs got to the line 597 times and made 425 free throws.
BACK IN ACTION
Kristin Hernandez played her first game since transferring to SMU from Oklahoma State two years ago. The senior guard scored six points, going 2-of-5 from the floor including a 3-pointer, and grabbed five rebounds in 17 minutes. She also had an assist and a steal in SMU's 76-54 win over Alcorn State.