Lady Mustangs play runner-up in the SMU Classic Championship

November 29, 2014; Dallas, TX; SMU Mustangs forward Taylor Brame #25 drives against USC Trojans guard Kiki Alofaituli #32 at Moody Coliseum. Photo by Vladimir Cherry

While you were away, undoubtedly napping and stuffing your faces with turkey, the SMU women’s basketball team partook in the SMU Classic Championship, playing two games against Florida A&M; and USC.

The opening game on Friday proved to be a cinch for the Mustangs, as they easily beat the Florida A&M; Rattlers 77-46.

Strong rebounding and tight defense allowed SMU to carry a 40-21 lead into the half, a lead that the Mustangs never relented.

Highlighting the strong effort was the effort of three SMU players, all of whom finished with double-doubles,

Junior forward Destynee Hives-McCray led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Alicia Froling added 14 points and 10 rebounds, while fellow first-year Taylor Brame collected 11 points and 13 rebounds.

SMU shot 40.6 percent for the game and grabbed 59 rebounds, while Florida A&M; was held to 23.6 percent and 29 rebounds.

While the Mustangs did exhibit good ball movement with 22 assists, the 23 turnovers were a cause for concern. Sure enough, the next day, that problem proved to be their demise.

On Saturday, SMU took the court against the 4-1 Trojans and ultimately lost 64-57.

The Mustangs held a 23-18 lead at the halftime buzzer due to stingy defense, holding USC to 23.5 percent shooting. However, an inability to continue that defensive pace allowed the Trojans to shoot 50 percent in the second half and outscore the Mustangs by 12.

While SMU did outrebound USC, 44-37, their 24 turnovers cost them dearly and played a key role in the loss.

Froling and Brame once again scored in double digits (10 and 12 respectively) and Gabrielle Wilkins joined the party with 12 points. Hives-McCray scored only eight points but was the only Mustangs to grab double-digit rebounds with 13.

Hives-McCray was named to the All Tournament team along with the USC forward Alexyz Vaioleteama (who also nabbed MVP honors), Florida A&M; guard Khadejra Young, Sam Houston State guard Shernise Robertson, Jr., and USC guard Jordan Adams.

The 3-3 Lady Mustangs next take the court on Wednesday at Moody versus North Texas. Tip-off is at 7 pm.

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