SMU women's basketball claims third consecutive C-USA win, 81-79 over UTEP
Published: Sunday, January 23, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
The mustangs came out firing in Moody Coliseum Sunday afternoon, anxious to get a win against conference rival UTEP.
It was a hard fought battle, but the Mustangs capitalized leading by 15 at the beginning of the second half.
Hailey Day was the main reason for the heat in the first half; her three pointers were sinking every time.
"I was really feeling it and I scored quick in the game which really got me going and into a rhythm. I really had my drive going too which allowed me to make those threes, and I really tried to stay aggressive the whole game" she said. Day finished the game with a season high of 17 points on the board.
UTEP is the leading three-point shooters in the conference, and coming into the game, the Mustangs' goal was to stop those threes.
The Miners' outside players made this difficult, and Rompola commended their efforts, "This game was kind of an inside game, they're looking inside we're looking inside, and their post players did a heck of a job."
Freshman Akil Simpson showed a lot of leadership during this big game.
"She's not afraid to take shots as we saw evidence of at the free throw line. I really challenged the team during the time outs by saying ‘who's going to take over the game? It's not often that you hear a freshman say I will" Rompola said.
Day also complimented Simpson's efforts. "She's going to be the next emotional leader of the team."
The Mustangs faced a lot of fouling issues in the game, losing one of their key players Delisha Wills because of it. The team, however, didn't struggle after the loss, and Day claimed "we were pumped up to get the win for Delisha, we didn't get down on ourselves at all."
Rompola also commented, "when Delisha went out I felt like it lit a fire under the Mustangs. I felt like we played better from that point on, and I think it worked more for us than against us."
After Wills hit the bench, it gave the Miners six free throws, four of which they made to give them a one point lead with 4:20 left to play.
Sophomore Alisha Filmore finished the game for the Mustangs Sunday afternoon, and according to Coach Rompola, "the drive when she went to the hoop with 8 seconds left was one of the most authoritative drives I've seen out of her, and of course the two free throws she made with two seconds left really boosted her confidence and showed a lot of poise."