Mustangs Conclude Homestand Against Wichita State Saturday At Noon

Dec. 20, 2012

Radio: KAAM 770AM Ray Canevari (Play-by-Play)
Location: Dallas, Texas (Moody Coliseum)
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The Mustangs, 8-2 for just the fifth time in 22 seasons, are going for their fifth straight win and sixth straight at home against Wichita State (5-5) Saturday at noon. Fans are asked to wear white to the game, the third in six days for SMU. The Mustangs wrap up the non-conference schedule with a pair of games at the San Diego Surf 'N Slam Classic at San Diego State on Dec. 28 and 30.

WICHITA STATE: The Shockers are 5-5 on the season, losing three neutral site games before winning three of their last four. Jessica Diamond leads the team with 135 points, averaging 13.5 in 10 games, and Alie Decker is averaging 13.5 points in the last two games, scoring 27 points in her first two games of the season. Wichita State is averaging 56.5 points per game as team, but the Shockers are holding the opposition to just 49.0 points per contest.

SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 1-1 all-time against Wichita State, winning the first meeting 67-60 in the first round of the Bahamas Tournament on Dec. 19, 2009. The Shockers took a 63-43 victory at home on Dec. 3 last season. Christine Elliott scored her 1,000th career point in the game, leading SMU with 13 points.

The Mustangs started the season 8-2 for the second time in the last five years, advancing to the WNIT in 2010 after a 10-2 start...Alisha Filmore scored at least 10 points in eight of 10 games this season, including 20 points against Montana State...SMU has scored at least 70 points in six games, including the last five...Six different Mustangs have been the top scorer through nine games this season...Simpson has scored at least 10 in three of the last five games...

The Mustangs will take on the hosting San Diego State Aztecs in the first round of the Surf 'n Slam Classic on Dec. 28 in San Diego, Calif. The Aztecs have won three of their last four to improved to 5-5 on the season. Jessica Diamond leads the team with 135 points in 10 games, and freshman Alie Decker has scored 27 points in the last two games to match Diamond's team-high 13.5 points per game. SDSU is shooting 40 percent from the floor, averaging 56.5 points per game, while holding opponents to just 49.0 points.

SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs are 4-0 all-time against the Aztecs. The two teams first met as Western Athletic Conference opponents on Jan. 17, 1998. SMU won 71-62 in Dallas. Later that season, the Mustangs won 71-62 in San Diego. SMU also took a 64-55 win on the road in December 2003, and won the last meeting 80-36 on Dec. 22, 2004.

Head coach Rhonda Rompola is in her 22nd season at SMU and has a 4-0 record against San Diego State. However, Rompola and Beth Burns, who is in the eighth year of her second stint as head coach of the Aztecs and 16th overall at SDSU, are opposing each other for the first time. Burns left SDSU for Ohio State prior to the 1997-98 season, prior to the first meeting that season, and returned for the 2005-06 season, immediately following the last meeting the season before. Burns is in her 21st season overall, while Rompola is in her 22nd.

Keena Mays scored 33 points in 34 minutes to lead SMU to a 71-62 win over Stephen F. Austin in Moody Coliseum Wednesday night. The Mustangs improved to 8-2 on the season, winning their fifth straight home game behind Mays' second straight game with at least 20 points, becoming the first player since Delisha Wills had back-to-back 20-point games in December 2010, and 33 points, tied for ninth in a game, is the most by a Mustang since D-dra Rucker had 33 on Jan. 28, 2001.

Keena Mays had 33 points agaisnt Stephen F. Austin, tied for ninth in a game at SMU and the most by a Mustang since D-dra Rucker scored 33 points at Fresno State on Jan. 28, 2001. The stellar performance also made her the first player at SMU to score at least 20 in back-to-back games since Delisha Wills scored 22 and 20 in consecutive games in December 2010. In her first game since transferring to SMU from Kansas in Jan. 2012, she scored 23 points with 11 rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. It was the second double-double of her career after scoring 12 points with 10 assists against Michigan as a freshman. Her previous career-high in points was 21 against Alabama on Dec. 4, 2011. She has scored at least 10 points 15 times in 44 games.

Senior Alisha Filmore has scored at least 10 points in eight games this season, with a season-high 20 in the win over Montana State. She is 15th in C-USA, averaging 12.1 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 TAMU-CC 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 averaging 7.0 points per game. She has scored at least 10 points in three games, scoring 11 points in her debut against North Texas. She finished with 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 20 steals on the season, and is tied for eighth in C-USA and in the top 50 in the NCAA with 2.5 steals per game.

The Mustangs lead Conference USA, shooting 34.4 percent from the perimeter, making 47 of 135 3-point attempts. Kristin Askew is shooting a league-high 50.0 percent, going 8-of-16 from behind the arc. Korina Baker is seventh in the conference, going 13-of-35 from distance for a 37.1 percent clip, and Alisha Filmore is ninth in C-USA with a 31.6 percentage. SMU also leads C-USA and is in the top 25 in the country in 3-point field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 23.8 percent behind the arc.

Korina Baker has a team-high 40 assists and is fifth in the league with 4.0 per game. She handed out a career-high nine assists against Montana State, and has had at least five in the last three games. She has also scored a career-high 12 points twice.

In the past six seasons, the SMU has 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.

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 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.

SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola has won 388 games during her career at SMU. With 12 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.

When the latest NCAA stat rankings were released Monday, the Mustangs were 23rd in the NCAA, holding opponents to 23.1 percent on 3-point shooting. SMU has allowed just 27 3-pointers through eight games. SMU is also 26th in the nation with 12.8 steals per game. SMU has swiped 19 twice, and Gabrielle Wilkins had a C-USA record-tying 10 steals against SIUE, and has 20 on the season, ranking 36th in the country with a 3.3 per game average.

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.

Nine Mustangs have scored in double-figures 29 times over the first eight games, including two freshmen and transfers Korina Baker and Keena Mays. 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 games this season, scoring 12 and 13 in the SMU Classic. Baker scored 12 points against Texas Southern, and added 12 at TCU, making four 3-point shots. Keena Mays scored 23 in her SMU debut against Louisiana-Monroe, and finished with 33 against Stephen F. Austin.

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.

Keena Mays and Destynee Hives-McCray became the first tandem to post a double-double in the same game since Janielle Dodds and Sharee Shepherd accomplished the feat against UAB on Feb. 17, 2008. Mays had 23 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs, in her SMU debut, while Hives-McCray scored 11 points with 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.

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.

SMU fans will have plenty of opportunities to see the Mustangs in Moody Coliseum this season. SMU has 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. This season, SMU is 6-1 in Moody.



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