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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SMU must be aggressive to win says Rompola

Mustangs meet the media, hold open practice
Head+coach+Rhonda+Rompola+answers+a+question+during+Saturdays+media+session+at+Mackey+Arena+on+the+Purdue+University+campus+while+senior+Katy+Cobb+%28left%29+listens.
Head coach Rhonda Rompola answers a question during Saturday’s media session at Mackey Arena on the Purdue University campus while senior Katy Cobb (left) listens.

Head coach Rhonda Rompola answers a question during Saturday’s media session at Mackey Arena on the Purdue University campus while senior Katy Cobb (left) listens.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – If SMU is nervous then they sure aren’t showing it. The Mustangs had an open practice Saturday afternoon at Mackey Arena and were loose throughout the hour-long session.

But No. 12 SMU must turn up the heat if they want to upset No. 5 Notre Dame according to head coach Rhonda Rompola.

“For us to win the game we’ve got to be aggressive,” she said during SMU’s media session.

Senior Janielle Dodds agreed and described the team’s motivation over the past few weeks as something similar to an us-against-the world mindset.

“I don’t think without pressure, our team does well. If we don’t have something to shoot for and to go for, we don’t play well,” Dodds said.

“We had something on the line that was really important and we all stepped up, and I think it will carry into this game.”

Rompola didn’t miss a beat and immediately followed up Dodds’ comments with a reminder.

“So Janielle, just so we’re clear, if we don’t win this game we’re done. So there’s the pressure we’re talking about.”

A large portion of the press conference was also devoted to the apparent similarities between SMU and Notre Dame.

Irish head coach Muffet McGraw said when she looked at SMU’s stats she thought they looked a lot like her own team’s. She pointed out the number of forced turnovers, steals and free throw shooting among the similarities.

“I think there are a lot of parallels between the two teams,” McGraw said. “On the whole I think we resemble each other quite a bit.”

Rompola agreed and said the two teams have a similar style of play and are evenly matched. She thinks that will be an advantage for SMU.

“I like the fact that Notre Dame runs the basketball,” Rompola said. “We’re a better team when we play a team that runs the basketball.”

The players are looking out for certain things from the Irish.

Senior Katy Cobb said Notre Dame’s offensive rebounding is good and SMU will need to play strong on the defensive end to avoid the Irish getting second chances.

Dodds is watching for the play of the Irish guards, notably Charel Allen and Ashley Barlow, who both average scoring in the double figures.

Senior Sharee Shepherd said good ball movement and passing will be important on the offensive side because Notre Dame picks off passes and can turn the steals into easy points.

But Rompola believes that a win is possible because of the way the team played in Orlando.

“I’ve seen our players do some things in games, the last couple of games, that I haven’t seen them do all year,” she said. “They truly understand the sense of urgency.”

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