The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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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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Women’s hoops finish historic season away

Dodds only 14 points away from breaking SMU points record
SMUs Sharee Shepherd holds onto the ball in heavy traffic.
Lindsey Perkins
SMU’s Sharee Shepherd holds onto the ball in heavy traffic.

SMU’s Sharee Shepherd holds onto the ball in heavy traffic. (Lindsey Perkins)

The SMU women’s basketball team will finish out its record-breaking season with a pair of road games starting in El Paso this evening.

The Mustangs made history after picking up their 21st win against the University of Houston Cougars in an 85-74 victory Saturday afternoon in Moody Coliseum. With the win, SMU improved to 11-3 in Conference USA to lock them in the No. 2 spot heading into the conference championship at the beginning of March.

SMU is currently 21-6 overall, giving the team the honor of holding the most regular-season wins in one season within the program.

Upon defeating Houston, SMU received three votes in AP polls this week for winning five straight road games for the first time since their 1998-99 season to put them in the 37th spot. “We’re finding a way to win, and that’s what championship teams do,” said head coach Rhonda Rompola. “I like the fact that we are being tested and meeting the challenge.”

The Mustangs will face off against the No. 1 Conference USA and nationally ranked No. 19 University of Texas at El Paso in tonight’s game. The Miners have a perfect 12-0 season in C-USA, leading them to become the first Conference USA team to appear in the AP Top 25 under the league’s new membership since a new league was established during the 2005-06 season.

Also owning the conference’s best record in history, UTEP is currently tied with UT Chattanooga in NCAA Division 1 with the most consecutive wins, and owns the league’s best start in conference play with a flawless 14-0 record so far.

“We want to go into this next game with momentum,” said Rompola. “It’s the game people have been waiting for.”

In their last meeting, SMU faced a close loss to the Miners on Jan. 31 in a 64-69 overtime defeat in Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs defeated the Miners in El Paso last season in a 68-58 victory and still hold a 16-6 advantage over UTEP in the series. The Miners faced their last loss to Kansas State on the road in December.

The Mustangs head into tonight’s game riding a seven-game winning streak and need just one more win to tie the record for most overall wins at SMU. The Mustangs will play tonight in hopes of wrapping up their travels with two wins to improve them to a seven-game winning streak on the road.

Senior Janielle Dodds will try to make history for most career points at SMU and pass SMU alum Karlin Kennedy with 1,785 points. Dodds needs only 14 more points on the season to break the all-time scoring record.

Should Dodds pull down 11 rebounds between tonight and Saturday’s games, she can also set a new record for most career rebounds. Kennedy also currently holds the most career rebounds at SMU with 946. In the Mustangs’ last game against the Miners, Dodds posted 22 points and nine rebounds last time the two teams met.

Sophomores Delisha Wills and Brittany Gilliam posted double-doubles in the last game against UTEP, with Wills sinking 15 points and tallying 12 rebounds, while Gilliam had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Going back to senior Sharee Shepherd’s phrase of “teamwork makes a dream work,” the Mustangs will head into tonight’s game dedicating the remainder of the season to senior Katie Gross. Still out due to an illness, Gross will continue to travel with the team, but her return to the court is still questionable.

After Saturday’s win over Houston, sophomore Jillian Samuels said it best: “We’re just going to play as a team because when we play as a team, nobody can beat us.”

Tonight’s game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 and can be viewed live on CSTV.

SMU’s Brittany Gillam drives the lane against the University of Houston Cougars. (Lindsey Perkins)

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