SMU falls to Horned Frogs for first time in three seasons
After a week of practice preparing for the TCU match, SMU fell flat in the second half of Thursday night’s game to the Horned Frogs. The Mustangs have been victorious in their previous two matches with TCU, but on Wednesday night, the Mustangs could not find the hoop.
“TCU out played us,” head coach Rhonda Rompola said during an interview for smumustangs.com. “We had a horrible week in practice and we played like we practiced.”
With a little more then 12 minutes left in the half, the Mustangs took their largest lead, 15-10. Shortly afterwards, TCU took the lead, 24-22, and remained ahead for the duration of the game. Both side made nine three-point shots, but ultimately, the game went to the TCU, who crashed the boards and out-rebounded SMU, 46-38.
However, just before the end of the first half, SMU was able to cut down the lead down to one with a last second three-point shot from freshman Alisha Filmore and take the momentum with them into the locker room.
After half time, the Mustangs were unable to keep up with TCU. The Horned Frogs kept their lead, and the Mustangs continued to turn over the ball and play disjointedly. A turning point in the game occurred when SMU turned the ball over four consecutive times and TCU capitalized on all four.
SMU also did not attempt a three-point shot for more then five minutes in the second half; in comparison, the Mustangs attempted 12 three-pointers in the first half and made 50 percent of them. When SMU finally made a shot from behind the arc, the Horned Frogs had already built a 10-point lead, 53-43.
The final score was 84-66. This score is typical for TCU, which has kept most of their competitors from breaking 70.
“When you don’t find your shots, you have to find fights somewhere else,” Rompola said.
Only three SMU players made baskets in the double digits. Sophomore Christine Elliott led all Mustangs with 18 points, while freshman Raquel Christian had 13 and junior Haley Day had 10.
Prior to this game, the Mustangs have looked to senior Brittany Gilliam to put points on the board. However, against the Horned Frogs, she never found her comfort zone and only managed five points, despite spending 32 minutes on the court. Rompola expressed frustration with the lack of leadership from Gilliam and fellow senior Jillian Samuels, who only scored eight points.
With a disappointing loss behind them, the Mustangs have until Dec. 19 to reflect and prepare to play in the Bahamas Tournament against Wichita State and then Indiana State on Dec. 20. The tournament is in Nassau, Bahamas.