Women's basketball defeats Houston, extends win streak to 7 games
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 00:02
It certainly wasn’t the prettiest victory, but the Mustangs (15-4 overall, 6-0 in C-USA) will remain undefeated in Conference all the same after defeating Houston, 58-54 Thursday night.
“I thought this game was good for us,” said head coach Rhonda Rompola. “We needed to see a close game and this was a close game from start to finish.”
Coming into the game, SMU and Houston were ranked as the top-2 scoring offenses in Conference USA, but late in the second half, both teams barely eclipsed the 50-point mark.
With two minutes remaining, the Cougars led, 53-51, but three critical turnovers and earlier foul trouble led to a resurgence by Keena Mays and company.
Mays scored six of SMU’s final points, and had a hand in each of Houston’s last minute mistakes as the Mustangs finished the game on a 7-1 run.
Even with her surge at the end, Mays struggled mightily for most of the game, shooting 27 percent from the floor, scoring 13 points and nine rebounds.
“We also needed to see how our kids reacted when Keena Mays isn’t having her best day,” Rompola said. “I think the last three minutes was what this team is all about.”
As much as the Mustangs struggled on offense, their defense rose to the challenge- keeping the Cougars grounded. Houston was held to 38 percent from the floor and made just one 3-pointer in the game. SMU has held its last two opponents to one 3-point field goal in both games.
Even with the defensive stand, SMU let a 10-point at 31-21 lead vanish midway through the second half, but guard Alisha Filmore stepped up when her time was called upon.
“I’m always on Alisha to get her game going,” Rompola said. “Even if she’s not always making her shots, you know she’ll hit a big three.”
That big three came with eight minutes remaining after Houston had fought back to tie the game, 41-41.
Filmore made the most of her lengthy time on the court, scoring a team-high 14 points on 5-11 shooting and was the heartbeat of the team when they needed it the most.
Even with another big conference victory, Rompola knows her team cannot make the same mistakes against her next opponent, Sunday.
“UTEP’s a very good team,” she said. “If we play like we did tonight, it’s going to be a long long afternoon in El Paso.”