SMU women's basketball draws UTEP in opening round of C-USA Tournament
Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 16:11
The Mustangs hard fought season finally comes to a close in El Paso, TX at the Conference USA tournament starting today. SMU has won six out of the last seven games against University of Texas at El Paso and they are looking to continue that trend.
SMU tied UTEP, the host of the tournament, for their first round competition.
The Mustangs have a good feeling about their opponent, having beat them twice this season.
The first was a close call at Moody Coliseum. SMU edging the Miners by just two points 81-79. The next go around, SMU won by a comforting but still close six points 70-64 in El Paso.
Raquel Christian, the star of that particular game, scored an all time high of 32 points.
The Mustang's overall track record against the Miners is 24-7.
Since SMU joined the conference in 2008, they are 9-4 with the Miners.
SMU is relying on its aggressive first half play for success in the C-USA tournament.
They have taken a lead into halftime 13 times this season and won 11 of those games. Rebounds are also crucial for SMU. When they have capitalized on rebounds, SMU has been 9-0.
The Miner's overall record succeeds that of SMU's by just a few wins. They are currently 15-13 while SMU is 14-15 for the season.
In C-USA standings, UTEP is 6-9 and SMU is 7-9.
UTEP played their last game at home against the University of Tulsa's Golden Hurricanes and won 65-62.
The Miners are second in C-USA in field goal percentage with 42.8 percent as well as three-point field goal percentage with 33.3 percent.
UTEP averages around 69.6 points per game with Gloria Brown usually in charge with around 12 points per game.
SMU had a memorable match up with the Miners in 2008 when they played them and won 73-57 for the C-USA tournament title.
This was a big upset for the Miners, giving them their first loss against a C-USA team that season.
When SMU has played UTEP in El Paso they have won 10 out of the 14 times.
As for history in the C-USA tournament, the Mustangs are 5-3. This will be senior Haley Day's last go around and her team is relying on her to continue the success that she has had in past tournaments. She has averaged 11 points in the last two years.
Other leading scorers for the Mustangs are predicted to be Delisha Wills who averaged 7.9 points in her tournament participation and Christine Elliott who averages 8.3 points.
Samantha Mahnesmith will also be one to watch, scoring at least 10 points in 13 of the last 19 games.
The Mustangs are also relying on their bench, having outscored their opponents in 16 of the last 20 games when being put into the game.
If SMU defeats UTEP, they will take on the No. 1 seed Houston for their second round.