Feb. 12, 2013
Keena Kraze Flyer
League-leading SMU (18-4, 9-0 C-USA) starts a two-game road trip at East Carolina (16-6, 6-3) Thursday at 6 p.m. CT. The Mustangs play at Memphis (13-10, 4-5 C-USA) before returning to Moody Coliseum on Feb. 21 to take on Tulsa (9-13, 4-5 C-USA).
SCOUTING THE TEAMS
SMU: The Mustangs have won 10 straight games, and received votes in both top 25 polls for the second straight week. Keena Mays, who was named C-USA Player of the Week for the fourth time, leads the league's top scoring offense, 70.4 points per game, averaging 20.6 points. Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.1 points per game, and needs 51 points to become the 20th 1,000 point scorer in program history. SMU is 10th in the country, shooting 37.7 percent from 3-point range, and 31st with 11.4 steals per game.
EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates are in a three-way tie for second with a 6-3 conference mark, 16-6 overall, and won five straight before falling 62-58 at UAB. ECU leads C-USA in scoring defense, allowing just 54.5 points, while scoring 64.5 per game. Whitny Edwards leads the team with 12.0 points per game, and Celeste Stewart adds 11.0. Britny Edwards scores 10.5 with 8.9 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.
UP NEXT - MEMPHIS
The Tigers are 13-10 overall, 4-5 in Conference USA, and have lost three of their last four games despite leading the league in field goal percentage, 41.4. Memphis is second in C-USA, scoring 69.7 points per game, but last in scoring defense, allowing 65.9 points. Nicole Dickson is ranked at the top of the conference with 19.9 points per game and averages 7.2 rebounds. Ariel Hearn scores 14.0 per game.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 5-4 all-time against the Tigers, winning five straight from 2005-06 through 2009-10. Memphis won the last two regular season games, and made it three straight with a win on its home floor in the C-USA tournament last season. SMU is 3-2 against the Tigers in Memphis. Memphis won the first meeting on Dec. 10, 1994 in the championship game of a tournament the Tigers were hosting.
LAST TIME OUT - MARSHALL
The Mustangs went on a 17-5 run, including 13 unanswered points over almost 10 minutes in the second half on the way to a 67-50 victory over Marshall for the 10th straight win, the second longest streak in program history. Keena Mays led the way with 17 points, going 4-for-8 from 3-point range. SMU remained unbeaten in Conference USA with the win, improving to 9-0 in the league and 18-4 overall.
The junior transfer also had five rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block, and Akil Simpson recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds, making six of 10 attempts from the floor. She also had three assists, two blocks and a steal in front of the third largest crowd in Moody Coliseum this year, aided by a few hundred student-athletes who showed up for SAAC's Pack the House.
The Mustangs shot 40 percent for the game, making 24 of 60 shots, including seven of 16 from 3-point range, 43.8 percent. Marshall connected on 19 of 64 attempts, 29.7 percent, and made just four of 22 3-point attempts, 18.2 percent.
The Mustangs received votes in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Top 25 Polls for the second straight week after stretching the win streak to 10 games and improving to 9-0 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 14 games at SMU, including a career-high 33 points against Stephen F. Austin. She scored 29 points to lead SMU to a triple-overtime win against UAB, earning her fourth C-USA Player of the Week Award. Mays is averaging 20.6 points per game, which would lead the conference and rank 15th in the NCAA if she met the 75 percent of the team's games minimum. Her 3-point percentage, 43.6, would also lead the conference and rank 10th nationally.
CHASING 1,000 POINTS
Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in 17 games this season, including nine of the last 12, with a season-high 22 in the win over Harvard. She is 16th in C-USA, averaging 12.1 points per game and is tied for eighth in the league, shooting 34.1 percent from 3-point range. She has 949 points in her career, needing to 51 with seven games left in the regular season to become the 20th player in program history with 1,000 career points.
TAKE IT AWAY
SMU is 31st in the country, averaging 11.4 steals per game, and is 35th in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 4.5 more turnovers per game. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 51 steals, and is 11th in the league with 2.3 per game. Korina Baker has 42 steals, tied for 15th in C-USA with 2.1 per game. Baker is also 85th in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio. Keena Mays has 38 steals, 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 82 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 6.0 points.
DOMINANT OUTSIDE THE ARC
The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are 10th in the NCAA, shooting 37.7 percent from the perimeter, making 121 of 321 3-point attempts. Korina Baker is third in C-USA, going 27-for-70 from distance, 38.6 percent. Keena Mays, who doesn't meet the minimums for rankings, is shooting 43.6 percent, which would lead the conference and rank 10th nationally. Mays has made 44 of 101 attempts in 14 games, including a career-high six against Rice. SMU is second in C-USA and 24th in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 26.3 percent.
In conference games, the Mustangs are scoring a league-high 72.8 points. Four of SMU's starters rank in the top 26 in the league in scoring in C-USA games, and three average at least 10 points. Keena Mays leads the team with 18.3 points per game, third, and has scored at least 25 in three of the last six games. Alisha Filmore, 11.4, and Akil Simpson, 11.3, rank 19th and 20th, and Destynee Hives-McCray is scoring 9.3 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 398 games during her career at SMU. With two 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 17. 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 70.4 points per game, which ranks 38th in the NCAA. Keena Mays leads the league with 20.6 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.1 per game. Akil Simpson is averaging 10.5 per game, and the trio has each had at least 20 points in a game. Sophomore Destynee Hives-McCray became the fourth Mustang 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 43.6 percent, 44-of-101. Korina Baker is third in the conference shooting 38.6 percent from behind the arc, making 27 of 70, and is shooting 43.8 percent in C-USA games. Senior Alisha Filmore has made 28 3-pointers, tied for eight in the league at 34.1 percent from behind the arc. As a team, the Mustangs have made at least five in 15 games, including nine of the last 11. 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 13 times this season, including the last six straight, and scored a season-high 20 points at San Diego State. The junior is sixth in Conference USA, shooting 46.7 percent from the field, and leads the team with 7.9 rebounds per game, 10th in C-USA. She has five double-doubles this season and 16 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 eight categories. The Mustangs are 10th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage, 37.7, and 24th in 3-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 26.3 percent. Winning 81.8 percent of its games, SMU is 26th 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 11 of its 18 wins by at least 10 points, including five by more than 20. The Mustangs are first in C-USA and 43rd in the NCAA in scoring margin, out-scoring opponents by an average of 10.5 points per game. SMU leads the league, out-scoring conference opponents by 12.2 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.