Ponies aim to keep up wins
Published: Friday, September 10, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 16:11
SMU women's basketball is looking to pick up right where they left off last season. The Mustangs had a memorable 2009-2010 season that included a run to the National Invitational Tournament.
SMU finished with a 20-11 record overall and 10-6 record in Conference USA play. The Mustangs were bounced out in the first round of the NIT after losing to New Mexico 66-51.
The Mustangs are hungry to avoid the NIT and actually make the NCAA tournament this season. They are going to have to work extremely hard to get there considering last season's leading scorers, Brittany Gilliam and Jillian Samuels are both gone.
Gilliam signed a contract with the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA. Christine Elliot is expected to take over as SMU's primary scorer.
Elliot averaged 10.9 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game last season. At 6-2 Elliot is a force to be reckoned with in the paint. She led all sophomores in Conference USA in rebounds per game last year.
Senior guard/forward Hailey Day is another vital piece of the puzzle. Last year, Day averaged 9.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. She was also second on the team in steals with 38 and three point percentage (40 percent).
SMU will be welcoming 4 new freshmen to the squad. Guards Krystal Johnson, Raven Short and Akil Simpson are all Texas recruits that will compete against each other for minutes on the court. Mallory Singleton of Flower Mound is one of only four other posts on the roster.
The Mustangs are lucky to have such a great coaching staff that includes a couple of hall of famers.
Head Coach Rhonda Rompola has been coaching SMU women's basketball since 1991. Over the past 19 seasons Rompola has compiled a 352-220 record and established a winning tradition at SMU. She has also coached the team to three straight-20 win seasons.
Rompola has two hall of fame assistant coaches in Deneen Parker and Danny Hughes. Parker was selected to be inducted into the Stephen F. Austin Athletics Hall of Fame this week for her four-year playing career with the Ladyjacks. Hughes was elected to the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinal Hall of Fame for his contributions as both a player and a coach.
The Mustangs have all the pieces in place to have their 4th 20-win season in a row and surpass expectations.