Nov. 29, 2012
MUSTANGS TAKE ON UT-PAN AM SATURDAY
Radio: KAAM 770AM Ray Canevari (Play-by-Play)
Location: Dallas, Texas (Moody Coliseum)
Live stats and video available on SMUMustangs.com
The Mustangs return to Moody Coliseum Saturday to host UT-Pan American at 2 p.m. in the last game before a two week break before a Dec. 17 matchup at home against Louisiana-Monroe. SMU is 5-2 on the season, winning five of its six home games. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 14.0 points per game, and has scored at least 10 points in all seven games this season.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
UT-PAN AMERICAN: The Broncs are 3-5 this season, snapping a three-game losing streak with a 49-45 win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Wednesday night. Kaelynn Boyd is scoring 8.43 per game to lead UT-Pan Am, and Bianca Torre is averaging 8.71 points per game, despite sitting out against Texas A&M-CC. The Broncs have been held to less than 60 points in six games, including each of the last four, averaging 58.5 points per game as a team. Not shy from behind the arc, the Broncs have attempted 156 3-point field goals, making 43, shooting 27.6 percent on 3-point attempts.
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.
UP NEXT - LOUISIANA-MONROE
The Warhawks are 1-4 this season, and will play three more games after a Nov. 29 matchup against Western Kentucky. Ashleigh Simmons leads the team with 10.8 points per game, and Jasmine Shaw is scoring 10.4 per contest. Louisiana-Monroe has made just 16 of 56 3-point attempts, and the Warhawks are averaging 56.8 points per game while allowing 71.0.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs have played Louisian-Monroe just once before in the history of the program, beating the Warhawks 56-44 in the first round of the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic in Moody Coliseum on Nov. 25, 2005.
LAST TIME OUT - MONTANA STATE
Akil Simpson led the Mustangs with a season-high 16 points, Alisha Filmore scored 14, and Korina Baker added 12, but the Mustangs came up short, falling 76-70 to TCU in the first road game of the season Wednesday night. Simpson was 7-of-16 from the field and finished with nine rebounds. Baker was 4-for-6 on 3-point attempts, scoring a season-high 12 points. Filmore added six field goals for her 14 points, and had six assists and two steals. Kristin Askew connected on three 3-pointers, finishing with 11 points to give SMU four in double figures.
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 seven games this season and led the team in three games, including 20 points against Montana State...SMU is averaging 65.3 points per game, eclipsing 60 in six of seven games...Akil Simpson posted her 11th career double-double against UALR...Simpson has led the Mustangs in rebounding in each of the last four games...
LEADER OF THE PACK
Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in the first seven 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 9.0 points per game. She has scored at least 10 points in three of the five 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 3.2 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
Eight Mustangs have scored in double-figures 22times over the first seven 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, and added 12 at TCU, making four 3-point shots.
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 68.3 percent from the free throw line. Destynee Hives-McCray leads the conference making all 18 attempts this season. Alisha Filmore is 12th in the league, shooting 70.3 percent (26-of-37).
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.