The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Mustangs crush Lions in season opener

SMU+guard+Jillian+Samuels+looks+for+a+pass+against+Tulane+last+Thursday+in+Moody+Coliseum.
KEVIN TODORA/The Daily Campus
SMU guard Jillian Samuels looks for a pass against Tulane last Thursday in Moody Coliseum.

SMU guard Jillian Samuels looks for a pass against Tulane last Thursday in Moody Coliseum. (KEVIN TODORA/The Daily Campus)

The SMU women’s basketball team crushed the Loyola Marymount University Lions in their season opener, 78-58, Friday night in Moody Coliseum.

In each team’s first game of the season, SMU (1-0) kept the score at nearly double their opponent’s the entire game, leading by as many as 30 points on two occasions.

Starting in the team’s season debut were seniors Alice Severin, Brittany Gilliam and Jillian Samuels along with sophomore Christine Elliott and junior transfer Raquel Christian, combining for 74 percent of the team’s total points. Senior Delisha Wills, a key part of last year’s team, will sit out this season with a torn ACL.

The Mustangs established an immediate and commanding lead, going on a 26-5 run in the opening of the first half, including a 17-point spree before the Lions could score again. Several more quick bursts of unanswered points would keep the Mustangs on top leading into the half.

Closing out the half at 45-21, the Mustangs were already sinking 56 percent of their shots from the field and were four for nine in free throws. The Mustangs’ defense helped carry them through the first half, as the team pulled down 21 rebounds accompanied by six steals.

At the end of the half, SMU had held the Lions (0-1) to 29.6 percent in shots from the field, shooting 56.3 percent themselves and hitting five of their six free throws.

The second half saw SMU maintain a 25-point lead, drawing more from their bench. Junior Haley Day, sophomores Heidi Brandenburg and Samantha Mahnesmith and freshmen Alisha Filmore and Sarah Shelton all saw playing time, adding 23 points on the night.

Day, despite getting in foul trouble late in the second half, still put 10 points and nine rebounds on the board, the closest any Mustang got to a double-double.

Continuing to lead the team in three-pointers was Samuels, knocking down all of her attempted threes to contribute to her 11 points. Samuels also had a game-high four steals. Elliott had an early influence as well, posting 16 points and five rebounds in the first half, leading to a game-high 18-point performance on the night.

Five SMU players posted double-digit scores with two players performing perfectly from the line. Elliott, the team’s leading scorer, shot eight for 11 in field goals and made both of her free throws in Friday’s win.

Leading the Lions was Renahy Young with 14 points and Candice Nichols with 11. While LMU improved to shooting 38.9 percent from the field, they averaged just 34.9 percent overall and made just four of their 17 three-point attempts.

During the 2007-08 season, SMU made it to the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, but is looking to travel even deeper into the postseason. Last season, the women opened their season with three consecutive losses before but still found themselves in the semi-final round of the Conference USA Tournament and opening round of the WNIT.

The team will return to Moody on Nov.18 to host the (1-0) University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Tip off for Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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