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


Senior class’ historical legacy

The SMU women’s basketball team departed from Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind., after putting its last bit of effort into the game. It was a game the women believed they could win.

The Mustangs’ loss to Notre Dame, however, was not a sign of defeat, but rather a reflection of the record-breaking season this group of amazing women posted in the SMU record books.

For senior Janielle Dodds, her fifth and final year at SMU could not have ended on a sweeter note. While winning the NCAA Tournament would have heightened the excitement, the All-Conference athlete and All-American candidate seemed content with settling with two school records and leading her team to the most wins in the program’s history.

Dodds came to SMU during the 2003-04 season as a redshirt freshman from Fairfax, Va. Starring in all 30 games in her second season on the team, including 28 starts, Dodds made a groundbreaking impression on the Mustangs’ offense. SMU’s leading scorer posted double-digit scores in all but five games, and totaled 11 double-doubles.

Breaking records for most career points and rebounds as a freshman, Dodds also established a freshman record in successful free throws and free throw attempts, earning the team’s offensive award in the postseason.

In her sophomore season, Dodds was selected as first-team All-Conference after starting in all 30 games and becoming the team’s top scorer, averaging 15.5 points per game. Picked as one of the league’s “Players to Watch,” Dodds went on to score double-digit figures in all but five games, tallying 12 double-doubles on the season, tying her for fifth in the Conference USA for scoring, third in rebounds, fourth in defensive rebounds and sixth in field goal percentage.

As a junior, Dodds received second-team All-Conference honors, a preseason All-Conference USA selection nomination. The team’s leading scorer hit her 1,000th career point on Dec. 3, 2006, against the University of Texas at Arlington, while also posting a career-high 30 points against the Road Runners.

In her final season as a Mustang, Dodds wanted only one thing: to make it to the NCAA Tournament. Her dreams came true when the Mustangs defeated UTEP for the Conference USA Championship. Dodds contributed 11 points to the Mustangs’ victory, but not before adding her name to the top of the SMU record books.

Dodds made history on March 1, reaching 1,846 points to surpass Karlin Kennedy for most career points at SMU. The modest Dodds said she was never focused on the record, but did reveal it would be cool if it happened.

The 2007-08 All-American candidate was also a two-time Conference USA Player of the Week, earned Most Valuable Player honors in the C-USA Tournament, and became one of only nine players in the Mustangs’ conference to surpass the 1,000 point mark.

Dodds owes it to her senior teammates for helping her gain the impressive resume she holds today. Senior Sharee Shepherd made her mark at SMU as the team’s thief, stealing a new record holder in steals.

Shepherd came to the Hilltop from Houston, Texas, and quickly adapted to the college court. Shepherd played in all 30 games as a sophomore, including seven starts.

The player earned her reputation during the 2006-07 season after leading the team with 65 steals on the season, finishing fourth in the conference and 47th in the nation.

It wasn’t until the 2007-08 season at SMU that Shepherd’s klepto habits really got out of control. Shepherd started all 32 games for the Mustangs this season, leaving an indent on the Mustang’s defensive front. The Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week had a school-record 101 steals and 29 blocked shots. Shepherd broke the record for most steals in a game when she ran off with the ball seven times against the University of Alabama at Birmingham in just the first half. Two more steals were swept away from the Blazers in the second half, bringing Shepherd’s total to nine in one game.

Shepherd had at least five steals in 10 games this season, along with a career-high 16 rebounds at Manhattan, giving her the honor of having the highest single-game total of any other C-USA player.

Katy Cobb became SMU’s clutch player this season, winning games for the Mustangs against Coppin State and Texas-San Antonio. Cobb had 26 starts as a freshman, crowning her MVP of the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic. She also received the team’s Hustle Award at the end of the season.

Picked by the coaches’ league as one of the “Players to Watch” in the 2005-06 season, Cobb put 23 more starts under her belt, shooting 77.2 percent from the line. In the third season Cobb finished first in assists, averaging 2.7 per game, and third in scoring for SMU, averaging 8.6 points per game. As the team’s co-captain, Cobb reached double-digit scoring figures 17 times.

In her final season as a Mustang, Cobb proved her dedication to her school and team as she became one of the secrets to the Mustangs’ scoring. Second to Brittany Gilliam with 81 assists on the season, Cobb also proved she wouldn’t choke under pressure after draining a game-winning three pointer with 1:33 on the clock to secure a Mustang victory. Cobb prevailed again with only 2.4 seconds left against UTA.

While sidelined with a medical condition in the middle of her final year at SMU, Katie Gross still had a tremendous impact on the Mustangs’ performance.

As the team’s leading three-point scorer, Gross left for the season hitting 65 points, 57 of which came from threes. Gross tied for first in the conference for most three-pointers in a game, hitting six threes on two occasions.

Before coming down with a viral infection, Gross fought her way into second place with 147 threes in her career. Hearing about Gross’ illness, the team dedicated the remainder of the season to her and sported her number on their arms during each game. Making a remarkable recovery, Gross was able to finish out the season with her team, but was limited to traveling and watching from the bench.

As the Mustangs stepped off the plane in Dallas, the seniors could only hope their experience and love for the game would be passed on to their teammates.

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