Women's Basketball end season against Bowling Green State 76-70
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 23:03
Unable to overcome one of their worst first halves of the season, the SMU Mustangs Women’s basketball team (21-10, 12-4 in C-USA) lost in the Women’s NIT opener against the Bowling Green State University Falcons, 76-70.
“We need to put two halves together,” an upset coach Rompola said. “We need to put two halves together. At the end of the season, we couldn’t do that.”
With less than six minutes remaining, the Mustangs tied 57-57 the game up with a Destynee Hives-McCray layup.
After that point, the Falcons never trailed again and used a 19-13 run that saw Bowling Green State finish off the game with clutch free-throw shooting.
SMU was outshot from the foul-line, 22 to 11, and Rompola did not let that disparity go unnoticed.
“I’m going to be honest,” she said. Those were some of the worst calls at the end of the game I’ve ever seen in a long time. Bowling Green State ended up with five fouls for the whole game.”
The Mustangs were held to just 20 points through the first 20 minutes of the game, shooting just 6-for-34 from the field for a disastrous 18 percent shooting. Conference USA player of the year Keena Mays was one of two players in the first half to score more than two points, the other being Akil Simpson.
Mays ended a magical junior season with 18 points on six made shots. The Kansas transfer has found herself struggling mightily in the Mustangs last six games when the team has gone 1-5. Mays has averaged less than 14 points per game and has shot a very pedestrian 27 percent.
On the plus-side for the Mustangs, senior guard Alisha Filmore ended her Mustang career with 22 points to lead the team, including five made 3-pointers.
Even with the contributions of SMU’s standout players, the team couldn’t slow down junior guard Jillian Halfhill, who scored a game-high 23 points on 70 percent shooting and nine out of 10 made shots from the charity stripe.
“[Halfhill] killed us the second half,” Rompola said. “She made tough shots all night.”
SMU certainly kept itself in the game the second half, scoring a season-high 50 points in the frame on 20-for-31 in the half, but the defense was not up to snuff when it was needed the most.
“I thought [Filmore] came around in the second half,” Rompola said. “Defensively we had some miscommunication. We just gave them an offensive rebound or something that kept us out of it.”
With the loss, the Mustangs’ season is over after a strong start that saw the team start conference play with a 9-0 record. Even though the loss will sting the SMU faithful, the team will mostly remain intact for what should be a fantastic season next year.
“We get everybody coming back except Alisha,” Rompola said. “Our freshmen definitely learned a lesson. This is not the way we wanted to end the season.”