Feb. 8, 2013
League-leading SMU (17-4, 8-0 C-USA) concludes a homestand against Marshall (7-14, 1-7 C-USA) in Moody Coliseum Sunday at 2 p.m. The Mustangs then go on the road for back-to-back games at East Carolina Thursday and Memphis on Feb. 17. Sunday's game against Marshall is part of the Play4Kay initiative for breast cancer awareness.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS
SMU: The Mustangs have won nine straight games, and received votes in both top 25 polls. Keena Mays leads the league's top scoring offense, 70.6 points per game, averaging 20.8 points. Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.4 points per game, and needs 57 points to become the 20th 1,000 point scorer in program history. SMU is 11th in the country, shooting 37.4 percent from 3-point range, and 35th with 11.5 steals per game.
MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd are 7-14 overall under first-year head coach Matt Daniel, and are 1-7 in Conference USA. A 55-54 win against Memphis snapped a string of eight straight losses before Marshall lost 67-52 to UCF Thursday. Shay Weaver leads the team with 9.6 points per game, and Marshall averages 54.9 points while opponents are scoring 59.5.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 8-1 all-time against the Thundering Herd, including a one-point win in the Conference USA tournament last season in Memphis, Tenn. SMU is 2-1 against Marshall in Dallas. All nine contests have happened since SMU joined Conference USA for the 2005-06 season. The Mustangs won the first meeting 72-57 on the road on Jan. 29, 2006. Last season, Akil Simpson scored 20 with 15 rebounds to lead SMU to a 55-53 win at Marshall, and then scored 15 with 10 rebounds as SMU held on for a 53-52 win in the first round of the C-USA Championship.
UP NEXT - EAST CAROLINA
The Pirates are tied for second with a 6-2 conference mark, 16-5, and have won their last five straight. ECU jumped to the top of the conference in scoring defense after SMU's 94-92 win against UAB. The Pirates are holding opponents to 54.2 points, while scoring 64.8 per game. Whitny Edwards and Celeste Stewart lead the team, averaging just over 11 points each, and Britny Edwards scores 10.5 with 9.0 rebounds per game.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 5-4 all-time against the Pirates, but have won five of the last six, including a 68-44 win last season. SMU is 1-2 against East Carolina in Greenville. The two teams first met on Jan. 27, 2006 when ECU won 75-63 at home.
LAST TIME OUT - UAB
It took three overtimes, but the Mustangs extended their win streak to nine games, the second longest in school history, and improved to 8-0 in Conference USA, 17-4 overall, when Keena Mays hit a jumper in the lane with one second left to give SMU a 94-92 win over UAB in Moody Coliseum Thursday night.
After UAB (13-8, 4-4 C-USA) scored with 19 seconds left to tie the score, the junior transfer went got the ball out of a timeout, went around a screen and ended the 55-minute contest, scoring her 29th point in 50 minutes. She also had 13 rebounds to finish as one of three Mustangs with a double-double and has scored at least 20 points in eight of 13 games this season.
Destynee Hives-McCray had 14 points and 15 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season, and Akil Simpson posted her fourth with 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Mustangs grabbed a season-high 58 boards, including 27 on the offensive end, while the Blazers managed just 38. During the 15 minutes of overtime, SMU out-rebounded the Blazers 20-6 leading to 12 second-chance points.
Alisha Filmore scored 12 points before fouling out with 1:20 left in the first overtime. Freshman Gabrielle Wilkins was the sixth Mustangs in double figures, scoring 13 with four steals.
The Mustangs received votes in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Top 25 Polls after an 82-73 win at (RV) UTEP (17-3, 5-2 C-USA) to extend SMU's win streak to eight games and improve to 7-0 in C-USA. SMU is receiving votes for the first time since Feb. 1, 2010.
Junior transfer Keena Mays has established herself as a candidate for Conference USA Player of the Year after scoring at least 20 points in eight of her first 13 games at SMU, including a career-high 33 points against Stephen F. Austin. She scored 26 points in an 82-73 win at UTEP, which has received votes in seven straight polls, earning her third C-USA Player of the Week Award. Mays is averaging 20.8 points per game, which would lead the conference and rank 16th in the NCAA if she met the 75 percent of the team's games minimum. Her 3-point percentage, 43.0, would also lead the conference and rank 15th nationally.
CHASING 1,000 POINTS
Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in 17 games this season, including nine of the last 11, with a season-high 22 in the win over Harvard. She is 15th in C-USA, averaging 12.4 points per game and is tied for eighth in the league, shooting 34.6 percent from 3-point range. She scored 21 at UTEP and now has 943 points in her career, needing to 57 with eight games left in the regular season to become the 20th player in program history with 1,000 career points.
TAKE IT AWAY
SMU is 35th in the country, averaging 11.5 steals per game, and is 36th in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 4.57 more turnovers per game. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 48 steals, and is 11th in the league with 2.3 per game. Korina Baker has 42 steals, 15th in C-USA with 2.1 per game. Baker is also 96th in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio, and freshman Gabrielle Wilkins has 35 steals on the season, with a C-USA record-tying 10 against SIUE.
RUNNING THE POINT
Korina Baker has a team-high 78 assists and is eighth in the league with 3.7 per game. She handed out a career-high nine assists against Montana State, and has had at least four nine times. She also scored a career-high 17 points against UCF, and has reached 10 points five times this season, averaging 6.3 points.
DOMINANT OUTSIDE THE ARC
The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are 11th in the NCAA, shooting 37.4 percent from the perimeter, making 114 of 305 3-point attempts. Korina Baker is second in C-USA, going 27-for-68 from distance, 39.7 percent. Keena Mays, who doesn't meet the minimums for rankings, is shooting 43.0 percent, which would lead the conference and rank 16th nationally. Mays has made 40 of 93 attempts in 13 games, including a career-high six against Rice. SMU is fourth C-USA and is 39th in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 26.9 percent.
In conference games, the Mustangs are scoring a league-high 73.5 points. Four of SMU's starters rank in the top 25 in the league in scoring in C-USA games, and three average at least 10 points. Keena Mays leads the team with 18.5 points per game, third, and has scored at least 25 in three of the last five games. Alisha Filmore, 12.0, and Akil Simpson, 11.0, also average double figures, and Destynee Hives-McCray is scoring 9.8 in league games.
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 CLOSING IN ON 400 WINS
SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has won 397 games during her career at SMU. With three more wins, 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.
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.
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 13 games, including 12 of the last 16. 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 70.6 points per game, more than 10 points more than last year. Keena Mays leads the league with 20.8 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.4 per game. Akil Simpson is averaging 10.3 per game, and the trio has each had at least 20 points in a game. Sophomore Destynee Hives-McCray became the fourth Mustangs to eclipse 20, scoring a career-high 22 at Southern Miss.
THREE OF A KIND
SMU's three starting guards each have at least 25 3-point field goals, led by Keena Mays, shooting what would be a league-high 43.0 percent, 40-of-93. Korina Baker is second in the conference shooting 39.7 percent from behind the arc, making 27 of 68, and is shooting 46.7 percent in C-USA games. Senior Alisha Filmore has made 28 3-pointers, tied for eight in the league at 34.6 percent from behind the arc. As a team, the Mustangs have made at least five in 14 games, including eight of the last 10. SMU made a season-high 10 in 16 attempts at TCU and hit 10 of 20 against Rice.
After scoring just 25 points in the first five games, Akil Simpson has scored at least 10 points 12 times this season, including the last five straight, and scored a season-high 20 points at San Diego State. The junior is sixth in Conference USA, shooting 45.9 percent from the field, and leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game, 10th in C-USA. She has four double-doubles this season and 15 in her career.
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 50 in six categories. The Mustangs are 11th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage, 37.4, and 39th in 3-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 26.9 percent. Winning 81.0 percent of its games, SMU is 28th in the country in win-lost percentage.
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.
NOT EVEN CLOSE
SMU has earned 10 of its 17 wins by at least 10 points, including five by more than 20. The Mustangs are third in C-USA and 53rd in the NCAA in scoring margin, out-scoring opponents by an average of 10.2 points per game. SMU leads the league, out-scoring conference opponents by 11.6 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.