SMU Battles Stephen F. Austin Saturday In Road Test

Go smu!
Go smu!

Go smu!

Nov. 21, 2013

 (RV) SMU (4-0) vs. Stephen F. Austin (2-2)
 Date & Tip Time  Saturday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m.
 Location  William R. Johnson Coliseum - Nacogdoches, Texas
 Live Video  All-Access
 Radio KAAM 770 AM - Dallas
 Game Info  Game Notes (.pdf)
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 Twitter  @SMUMustangs   |   @SMUBasketballW
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The Last Meeting
Stephen F. Austin62
December 19, 2012
Moody Coliseum
Mays Scores 33 As SMU Wins Fifth Straight At Home 71-62 Over SFA
DALLAS (SMU) - Keena Mays scored 33 points in 34 minutes to lead SMU to a 71-62 win over Stephen F. Austin in Moody Coliseum Wednesday night. The Mustangs improved to 8-2 on the season, winning their fifth straight home game behind Mays' second straight game with at least 20 points, becoming the first player since Delisha Wills had back-to-back 20-point games in December 2010, and 33 points, tied for ninth in a game, is the most by a Mustang since D-dra Rucker had 33 on Jan. 28, 2001.

The Mustangs put their 4-0 record on the line at Stephen F. Austin Saturday at 6 p.m. SMU enters its second road contest averaging 81.2 points per game, led by Keena Mays, who is scoring 18.0 points per game. Post players Akil Simpson and Destynee Hives-McCray are each averaging over 10 points and eight rebounds. Defensively, SMU is holding opponents to 63.8 points and forcing 20 turnovers per game.

Five Mustangs scored at least 10 points, led by Destynee Hives-McCray's season-high 17, as the Mustangs improved to 4-0 with a 91-52 win against Mississippi Valley State Tuesday night in the Curtis Culwell Center. Hives-McCray went 7-for-10 from the field, and Akil Simpson recorded her first double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Kiara Perry scored 14 points, reaching double digits in the last three games, and Keena Mays and Mallory Singleton each added 10. Singleton got to 10 with a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left in the game to put the Mustangs over the 90-point mark in regulation for the first time since a 92-75 win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 28, 2008.

SMU received votes in the 2013-14 USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Poll for the third straight week. The Mustangs earned votes in the preseason poll after finishing the 2012-13 season with a 21-10 record, and are off to a 4-0 start this season.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT STEPHEN F. AUSTIN: The Ladyjacks are 2-2 after winning their last two games, including a four-point win at Arizona. Porsha Roberts scored more than 20 in each of the first three games and leads the team, averaging 17.8. Brittney Matthew and Daylyn Harris also average double figures. The Ladyjacks have made 22 3-pointers through four games, but shoot just 25.9 percent from outside the arc. SFA shoots 36.5 percent as a team overall.

Series History: The Mustangs are 6-10 all-time against SFA, but SMU has won four of the last five, including two of the last three on the road.

Last Meeting: Keena Mays scored 33 points in her first game at SMU, leading the Mustangs to a 71-62 win at home against SFA. Akil Simpson also had 13 points and nine rebounds in the win.

The Cardinals are 3-2, winning three of their last four after a season-opening loss at Oklahoma State. Dominique Edwards leads the team in points, 18.0 per game, and rebounds, 9.8. Shauna Long is Lamar's top outside threat, shooting 61.5 percent from behind the arc with 16 3-pointers in the first five games. As a team, the Cardinals have made 45 of their 119 field goals from 3-point range, shooting 38.1 percent from distance and 41.9 percent overall.

Series History: The Mustangs are 4-1 against Lamar all-time, and have won three by 10 or more points. SMU has played the Cardinals just once during head coach Rhonda Rompola's tenure, winning 85-69 on Feb. 12, 1996, the most points by the Mustangs in the series.

Keena Mays has scored at least 20 points 11 times in 25 games at SMU, including the first two games this season. She nearly recorded the first triple-double in SMU history with 15 points, eight assists and eight rebounds at EWU, and is averaging 18.0 points per game with 5.3 rebounds per game and 21 assists this season. The senior is shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point range, and leads the team with 10 steals. She was named to the American Athletic Conference Preaseason All-Conference team after being named Conference USA Player of the Year as a junior.

Six different Mustangs have scored at least 10 points in a game this season, with Keena Mays (22, 25, 15, 10) and Akil Simpson (15, 11, 16, 15) reaching double figures in all four games. Freshman Kiara Perry (12, 14, 14) has scored at least 10 in each of the last three games, and Destynee Hives-McCray (16, 17) and Gabrielle Wilkins (15, 11) hit 10 points twice. Mallory Singleton became the sixth player with a 10-point game, scoring 10 against Mississippi Valley State.

All nine players scored against Grambling State, the most in a game since 10 Mustangs scored at Tulane on Feb. 3, 2011, including Gabrielle Wilkins, who scored a career-high 15 points in the opener. All nine players lit up the scoreboard again against Mississippi Valley State, with five scoring at least 10. Seven of nine players scored against TCU, and eight Mustangs tallied points at Eastern Washington.

The Mustangs have forced 82 turnovers and turned them into 103 of their 325 points. SMU is also out-rebounding its opponents 192-151, and opponents have only grabbed 48 offensive boards for 28 second-chance points.

The Mustangs have recorded 81 assists on 115 field goals this season, led by senior Keena Mays, who has 21 assists, including a season-high eight at Eastern Washington. Korina Baker has 14 assists, and freshman Kiara Perry has 10. Gabrielle Wilkins and Mallory Singleton each have nine assists, and all nine players have at least three this season.

Akil Simpson is one of two Mustangs with at least 10 points in each of the first four games. The senior scored 15 points with nine rebounds against Grambling State, and had 11 points before fouling out against TCU. She had a season-high 16 points with seven boards at EWU, and posted her first double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds against MVSU. Simpson leads the team and is eighth in the conference, shooting 56.1 percent from the field. She is averaging 14.3 points with 8.0 rebounds.

Destynee Hives-McCray appeared in all 31 games last season, making 24 starts. She finished the season second on the team in rebounding with 6.3 per game and had a team-high seven double-doubles. Hives-McCray put together a career-best scoring performance against Southern Miss on Jan. 17, scoring 22 points to go along with 10 boards. She recorded the first double-double of the season with 16 points and 15 rebounds in the opening win, and had 10 rebounds with five points against TCU. The junior led SMU with 17 points against Mississippi Valley State, and is averaging 11.8 points with a team-high 8.5 rebounds, which is tied for sixth in the American Athletic Conference.

Kiara Perry is the lone freshman on the roster this season. She has started all four games and reached double digits in points in the last three. The guard is averaging 10.5 points with 6.3 rebounds and 10 assists. In high school, she was named MVP at the Texas state championship tournament after leading Duncanville to its second straight state title and a 70-game winning streak spanning two seasons.

SMU enters the new American Athletic Conference this season. Members of the conference, which consists of former BIG EAST and Conference USA members, includes Connecticut, Louisville, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, Rutgers, Temple, UCF and USF. Connecticut beat Louisville to win the 2013 NCAA championship, and the Bulls advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The 2014 American Women's Basketball Championship will be hosted at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., March 7-10.

The $47 million renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum, which opened in December 1956, will be 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. SMU will play its first basketball games with a men's and women's doubleheader on Jan. 4. The women will play USF at 3:30 in ESPN3.

For the first time in program history, SMU women's basketball fans will have the opportunity to watch all 29 regular-season games live this season. The Mustangs will have two games on ESPNU this season, Dec. 29 at Louisville, and again when SMU hosts the Cardinals on Jan. 19 in the newly-renovated Moody Coliseum. ESPN will broadcast two games live on its digital channel, ESPN3, including the first game of the season in Moody Coliseum, a Jan. 4 matchup against USF. The Memphis game on Feb. 22 in the FedEx Forum will also be on ESPN3. SportsNet New York will carry both games against Connecticut. SMU will also play seven games on the American Digital Network, and the other eight home games will air on PonyUp TV.

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. The Mustangs have captured two conference tournament championships, winning the Western Athletic Conference 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. Rompola has also earned six Coach of the Year honors during her career.