After losing to Tulsa 66-59 on the road last week, the Mustangs redeemed themselves this week against Memphis on Tuesday night. Their recent win will improve their season 12-10 and their conference 3-6.
For the past 25 seasons, the Mustangs were lead by head coach Rhonda Rompola. Following her recent retirement, SMU has a new face on the sidelines. After working 12 seasons as a collegiate assistant for 3 Hall of Fame coaches, Travis Mays is in the middle of his debut season as head coach of the Mustangs.
Under Mays’ leadership, the Mustangs began strong in Moody Coliseum with a powerful and experienced starting lineup including: juniors Alicia Froling, McKenzie Adams, Kiara Perry and Stephanie Collins, and senior Morgan Bolton. The Mustangs finished the first quarter leading Memphis 11-10.
After a couple of crucial Mustang penalties, the Tigers regained momentum and earned a substantial lead. The Tigers went into halftime with a 23-18 lead over the Mustangs.
At the start of the second half, the Mustangs kept up with the Tigers consistently. A free throw by sophomore forward Dai’ja Thomas trimmed the 5-point deficit from halftime to a 2-point margin to close out the third quarter.
The fourth quarter consisted of close scores and critical turnovers. With 2:53 left in the fourth quarter, Bolton shot her fifth triple of the night, raising the Mustangs’ lead 50-44. Bolton, burdened with fouls, only had 3 points in the first half, but her impressive triples in the second half were imperative for the Mustangs.
Adams and Froling added an additional 3 points to secure the Mustangs’ 12th season win.
SMU will host conference rival UCF on Saturday, February 2nd at 2 p.m. at Moody Coliseum before hitting the road for the following two games. SMU will be back in Moody Coliseum on February 18th, for a second chance against Tulsa at 2 p.m.