Feb. 19, 2013
SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola is going for her 400th career win Thursday when the Mustangs take on Tulsa at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum. The league-leading Mustangs, who have received votes in both polls for the third straight week, are 10-1 in Conference USA, reaching 10 league wins for the fifth time in eight seasons since joining the conference prior to the 2005-06 season.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS
SMU: After having their 10-game win streak snapped at ECU, the Mustangs bounced back with a 74-67 win at Memphis to improved to 19-5 overall, 10-1 in C-USA. Keena Mays, a four-time C-USA Player of the Week award winner, leads the league's top scoring offense with 19.6 points per game. Alisha Filmore is averaging 11.9 points, and the senior needs just 24 to become the 20th 1,000-point scorer in SMU history. SMU also leads the leauge and ranks in the top 15 in the country in both 3-point percentage, 37.4, and 3-point percentage defense, 25.3.
TULSA: The Golden Hurricane is 11-13 overall, 6-5 in Conference USA, and has won its last four straight. Tulsa is averaging 61.8 points per game, but opponents are scoring 60.8, and the Golden Hurricane is last in the league in field goal percentage defense, 39.5. Taleya Mayberry leads the team with 18.4 points per game, and Kelsee Grovey adds 10.0. Tiffani Couisnard grabs a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 24-13 all-time against Tulsa. SMU has won seven of the last 10, including a 71-46 win in the first matchup this season. Keena Mays led four Mustangs in double-figures with 12 points. SMU is 15-5 against Tulsa in Dallas, and the Mustangs have won three of the last four on their home floor. The series started on Nov. 30, 1981 when SMU won 86-64 in Dallas.
UP NEXT - HOUSTON
The Cougars are 11-13 overall, 5-6 in C-USA, and have an 8-6 record at home after dropping their last four in Hofheinz Pavilion. Houston is sixth in the league in scoring offense, 64.0 points per game, led by Porsche Landry, who is averaging 16.8 points, but the Cougars are 11th in scoring defense, allowing 65.0 points per game.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 19-28 all-time against the Cougars after winning the first meeting this season 58-54 in Dallas to make it three straight over Houston. Alisha Filmore scored 14 points to lead three Mustangs in double-figures. SMU got its first win against the Cougars during the 1991-92 season, Rompola's first as head coach, and the Mustangs are 19-9 during her tenure. The first game between the two schools took place on Jan. 13, 1981 with Houston taking a 77-71 win in Dallas.
LAST TIME OUT - MEMPHIS
Alisha Filmore scored 21 points and Akil Simpson grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds with 13 points to lead the Mustangs to a 74-67 win at Memphis Sunday. With the win, SMU maintained a two-game advantage in Conference USA, improving to 10-1 in the league and 19-5 overall, while Memphis fell to 14-11, 5-6 in C-USA.
With the game tied at 60 with a little more than five minutes left, the Mustangs went on a 14-7 run to close out the game, scoring 44 points in the second half for the road victory. It was neck-and-neck in the second half, with neither team leading by more than four points until SMU stretched the lead to five, 72-67 with 29 seconds left on a Simpson free throw. Leading by two with a minute left, SMU hit five of six free throws down the stretch and held Memphis scoreless to seal the win.
The Mustangs received votes in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Top 25 Polls for the third 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 16 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 19.6 points per game, which would lead the conference and rank 20th in the NCAA if she met the 75 percent of the team's games minimum. Her 3-point percentage, 41.4, would also lead the conference and rank 15th nationally.
CHASING 1,000 POINTS
Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in 18 games this season, including 10 of the last 13, with a season-high 22 in the win over Harvard. She is 16th in C-USA, averaging 12.3 points per game and is sixth in the league, shooting 35.2 percent from 3-point range. She has 976 points in her career, needing to 24 with five games left in the regular season to become the 20th player in program history with 1,000 career points.
TAKE IT AWAY
SMU is 46th in the country, averaging 10.9 steals per game, and is 44th in the NCAA in turnover margin, forcing opponents into 3.71 more turnovers per game. Alisha Filmore leads the team with 55 steals, and is 10th in the league with 2.3 per game. Korina Baker has 42 steals, and is also 94th in the NCAA in assists/turnover ratio. Keena Mays has 39 steals, and freshman Gabrielle Wilkins has 37 steals on the season, with a C-USA record-tying 10 against SIUE.
RUNNING THE POINT
Korina Baker has a team-high 87 assists and is eighth in the league with 3.6 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 5.6 points.
DOMINANT OUTSIDE THE ARC
The Mustangs lead Conference USA and are 11th in the NCAA, shooting 37.4 percent from the perimeter, making 131 of 350 3-point attempts. Korina Baker is third in C-USA, going 28-for-74 from distance, 37.8 percent. Keena Mays, who doesn't meet the minimums for rankings, is shooting 41.4 percent, which would lead the conference and rank 15th nationally. Mays has made 48 of 116 attempts in 16 games, including a career-high six against Rice. SMU is also first in C-USA and 13th in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 25.3 percent.
In conference games, the Mustangs are scoring a league-high 70.5 points. Three of SMU's starters rank in the top 20 in the league in scoring in C-USA games, averaging at least 10 points. Keena Mays leads the team with 17.3 points per game, third, and has scored at least 25 in three of the last eight games. Alisha Filmore is 16th with 11.7 per game, and Akil Simpson is 18th with 11.3. Destynee Hives-McCray is 27th in the league with 9.6 points in C-USA 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 399 games during her career at SMU. With one more win, Rompola would get her ninth 20-win season and reach 400 wins in her career, something only 45 other active 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 14 games, including six of the last eight. 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 69.6 points per game, which ranks 44th in the NCAA. Keena Mays leads the league with 19.6 points per game, and Alisha Filmore is scoring 12.3 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 41.4 percent, 48-of-116. Korina Baker is third in the conference shooting 37.8 percent from behind the arc, making 28 of 74, and is shooting 41.7 percent in C-USA games. Senior Alisha Filmore has made 31 3-pointers, and is sixth in the league at 35.2 percent from behind the arc. As a team, the Mustangs have made at least five in 15 games, including nine of the last 13. SMU made a season-high 10 in 16 attempts at TCU and hit 10 of 20 against Rice.
Akil Simpson has scored at least 10 points 14 times this season, including seven of the last eight, and scored a season-high 20 points at San Diego State. The junior is sixth in Conference USA, shooting 46.3 percent from the field. She leads the team averaging 8.3 rebounds, eighth in C-USA, and grabbed a career-high 17 at Memphis with 13 points for her sixth double-double of the season.
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 55 in seven categories. The Mustangs are 11th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage, 37.4, and 13th in 3-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 25.3 percent. Winning 79.2 percent of its games, SMU is 30th 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 19 wins by at least 10 points, including five by more than 20. The Mustangs are second in C-USA and 52nd in the NCAA in scoring margin, out-scoring opponents by an average of 9.3 points per game. SMU leads the league, out-scoring conference opponents by 9.2 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.