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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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Dodds thrives under pressure

ORLADNO, Fla. – Pressure is Janielle Dodds’ best friend.

The senior from Fairfax, Virginia admits that if the lights aren’t bright and the situation isn’t tense, then she won’t play her best.

Well, she won’t have that problem today.

Dodds will play in the biggest game of her college career when she and SMU plays UTEP in the final of the Conference USA tournament. Only a conference championship and a bid to the NCAA tournament are on the line.

That suits Dodds just fine.

“I play my best under pressure,” Dodds said. “If I don’t have any then I don’t play well and I get distracted.”

She attributes this to the fact she played basketball with her dad while growing up. Her father always pushed her and forced her to play her best.

Dodds got used to the pressure and began to thrive under it.

That’s why the mistakes and slip-ups during the regular season eat at her. She said the hardest part of this season was losing the games SMU could have won. The losses to Tulsa and UTEP, especially.

“We could easily be a top 25 team,” Dodds said.

The senior has tried to lead by example this season. That’s the way she learned how to play in college when she was a freshman and she hopes the underclassmen on the SMU team have done the same.

That senior leadership is also used to motivate the team during key times.

During the practices before the conference tournament she talked to them about what it meant to be a senior and how it’s the last chance for those players to win a championship. At the same time, it might be their last chance as well.

“It’s a reality check,” Dodds said.

Winning the conference is the goal for Dodds right now. The many records she has broken at SMU – all-time leader in points and rebounds – isn’t something she is dwelling on at present.

“Maybe in a few years it will sink in,” Dodds said. “Right now I don’t even feel like I’ve broken any records.”

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