Nov. 27, 2012
MUSTANGS FACE TCU IN FIRST ROAD TEST
Radio: KAAM 770AM Ray Canevari (Play-by-Play)
Location: Dallas, Texas (Moody Coliseum)
Live stats and video available on SMUMustangs.com
Elliott's Double-Double Leads SMU To 47-38 Win Over TCU
DALLAS (SMU) - The SMU women's basketball team held TCU to its fewest points in 13 years under head coach Jeff Mittie in a 47-38 win in Moody Coliseum Thursday night to improve to 3-0 on the season. TCU fell to 1-2 after scoring the fewest points by an SMU opponent since the Mustangs held San Jose State to 37 points on Jan. 15, 2005.
The Mustangs take on TCU in their first road test of the season Wednesday night at 7 p.m. SMU enters the contest 5-1, coming off a come-from-behind win over Montanta State, 71-70, in the championship game of the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 14.0 points per game, and has scored at least 10 points in all six games, including a season-high 20 points against Montana State.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION - TCU:
The Horned Frogs are 1-2 this season after a 91-80 loss at Texas State Sunday. Natalie Ventress leads three TCU players averaging in double-figures scoring, averaging 16.3 points per game. As a team, the Horned Frogs are scoring 69.7 points per game, while allowing 76.0 through three games.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 41-15 all-time against TCU, and have won three of the last five. SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola is 22-8 against the Horned Frogs. The Mustangs won 19 straight from the 1990-91 season through the 1999-2000 season for the longest winning streak in the series. SMU won the first meeting 58-52 in Fort Worth in 1976, the first official season of SMU women's basketball. The Mustangs lost in double overtime in the last game at TCU.
ROMPOLA VS MITTIE
SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has been on the sideline against TCU head coach Jeff Mittie 15 times during her 21 seasons, posting a 7-8 record. The Mustangs beat a Mittie-coached Arkansas State team in the second round of the SMU Classic in 1998, and SMU is 6-8 against TCU during Mittie's 13 seasons.
UP NEXT - UT-PAN AMERICAN
The Broncs are 2-5 this season, with a game at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Wednesday night before taking on SMU in Moody Coliseum on Saturday at 2 p.m. Bianca Torre leads the team with 8.71 points, and Kaelynn Boyd is scoring 8.43 per contest.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs have played UT-Pan American just once before in the history of the program, beating the Broncs 100-52 in the first round of the SMU Classic in Moody Coliseum on Dec. 11, 1987.
LAST TIME OUT - MONTANA STATE
SMU scored eight points off of four Montana State turnovers, including three SMU steals, in the last 2:06 to win the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic with a 71-70 win over the Bobcats in the championship game Saturday night. The Mustangs (5-1) trailed Montana State (3-1) 70-60 with 2:27 left in the game. Akil Simpson scored a layup to start the 11-0 run, and Alisha Filmore forced two of SMU's three steals in the stretch. The senior picked the pocket of Rechel Carter with 20 seconds left and was fouled after an SMU timeout with the Mustangs trailing 70-69 with eight seconds left. Filmore sank both free throws to put SMU on top for the first time since leading 48-46 with 14:59 left in the second half.
STREAKS AND TRENDS
The Mustangs started the season 5-1 for the third time in the last six years, making the postseason both of the other two (2008 and 2010)...Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in all six games this season and led the team in three games, including 20 points against Montana State...SMU is averaging 64.5 points per game, eclipsing 60 in five of six games...Akil Simpson posted her 11th career double-double against UALR...
LEADER OF THE PACK
Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in the first six games this season, with a season-high 20 in the win over Montana State. She is seventh in C-USA, averaging 14.0 points per game. After spending most of her first two seasons on the Hilltop playing the point guard position, Filmore was second on the team in scoring last season, averaging 10.2 points per game. She scored at least 10 points in 15 of the Mustangs' 31 games, including a career-high 29 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 18, 2011. Filmore also had 26 points against Houston. She was the leading scorer in nine games last season.
Freshman Gabrielle Wilkins is second on the team, averaging 9.5 points per game. She has scored at least 10 points in three of the four games she has played in this season. She scored 11 points in her debut against North Texas, and scored 12 and 13 points in the two SMU Classic games. She tied a C-USA record and set the SMU single-game record with 10 steals against SIU-Edwardsville. She has 14 steals on the season, and is tied for fourth in C-USA with 3.5 steals per game.
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 joined the duo 17 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 in his fourth year with the program.
In the past six 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.
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 Conference 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 21-year career.
SIGNING CLASS RATED AS ONE OF NATION'S BEST
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. Combined with transfers Korina Baker, Brittney Hardy and Keena Mays, the seven-player class was rated as one of the top-20 classes in the country by Dan Olsen's Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.
LIVING UP TO THE HYPE
Seven Mustangs have scored in double-figures 18 times over the first six games, including two freshmen and junior college transfer Korina Baker. Freshman Farrin Bell scored 12 points in the season opener against Alcorn State, and finished with 12 in the win over North Texas. Gabrielle Wilkins also hit double-digits in her collegiate debut, earning C-USA Freshman of the Week honors after scoring 11 points with five rebounds against North Texas. Wilkins scored at least 10 in three of four games played this season, scoring 12 and 13 in the SMU Classic, and is second on the team with 9.5 points per game. Baker scored 12 points against Texas Southern.
ALL-CONFERENCE USA TEAM
Akil Simpson was named to the All-C-USA Second Team after finishing the regular season averaging 10.6 points per game, and tied for ninth in the league with 7.3 rebounds per game. She had seven double-doubles in the regular season and scored at least 20 points three times. She scored a career-high 25 points at Tulane and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds against Houston. Simpson was named to the All-Freshman Team last season. She was also selected to the C-USA All-Preseason Team this year.
SINCE IT'S FREE
The Mustangs are second in Conference USA, shooting 68.4 percent from the free throw line. Destynee Hives-McCray leads the conference making all 14 attempts this season. Alisha Filmore is 12th in the league, shooting 72.2 percent (26-of-36).
SMU IN THE NCAA RANKINGS
The Mustangs are ninth in the NCAA, holding opponents to just 18.3 percent shooting on 3-point attempts. SMU has allowed just 15 3-point field goals through the first six games. SMU is also 22nd in the nation with 13.3 steals per game. The Mustangs have swiped 19 twice. Freshman Gabrielle Wilkins had a C-USA record-tying 10 steals against SIUE, and has 14 on the season.
ROMPOLA CLOSING IN ON MILESTONE
SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has won 385 games during her career at SMU. With 15 more wins this season, Rompola would get her ninth 20-win season and reach 400 wins in her career, something only 40 NCAA Division I coaches have accomplished in their careers. Last season, Rompola passed former SMU men's soccer head coach Schellas Hyndman for most wins by a coach at SMU with the 369th win of her career, a 47-38 victory over TCU on Nov. 17, 2011. She earned her 350th career win on Feb. 25, 2010 with a 69-61 win against UCF.
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.
HOME SWEET HOME
SMU fans will have plenty of opportunities to see the Mustangs in Moody Coliseum this season. SMU plays 10 of its 13 non-conference games on the Hilltop, and hosts eight of the 16 Conference USA games during the regular season. Over the last eight seasons, the Mustangs posted a 92-33 record in Moody Coliseum, and SMU is 317-194 all-time when playing at home.
RETURNING TO THE HILLTOP
The Mustangs added two familiar faces to the staff this season. Shawna Lavender, who played at SMU and graduated in 1997, is the Director of Basketball Operations, and Jillian Samuels, a 2010 graduate of SMU, was named Assistant Director of Player Development. Samuels hold the SMU record with 249 3-point field goals in her career, and was the 13th player in school history to score 1,000 points. She is 14th all-time with 1,158 career points. Lavender, formerly Shawna Ford, led the Mustangs to a 76-41 overall record, and scored a career-high 42 points, second most in school history, in a historic four-overtime victory over TCU during the 1996-97 season. As a senior, she led the Mustangs with 130 assists and 46 3-point field goals made. She scored 313 points, averaging 10.4 per game during her final season. She was also a team captain for two seasons.