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

Lady ‘Stangs rally in second half

SMU overcame a sub-par first half to put away Rice 67-62 Thursday night at Moody Coliseum. Junior Andrea Cossey scored 20 points as the Mustangs were finally able to take control of the game with five minutes left to play.

SMU committed 12 turnovers in a dreadful first half. Rice went into the locker room with a 32-31 lead.

Rice came out in the second half and continued to take advantage of SMU. Down 45-37 late in the second half with senior Kaci Alexander on the bench in foul trouble, SMU found itself in an uneasy position.

“I don’t know if we were cold or we weren’t taking good shots,” Cossey said. “Soon as we hit a few it just gave us confidence and we just went from there.”

The Mustangs turned up the defensive pressure and the offense finally started to click. SMU went on an 8-0 streak and were in control of the tempo.

“I thought we finally found our rhythm in the second half,” said head coach Rhonda Rompola. “We did a pretty good job in the second half of just playing smarter basketball.”

Cossey’s shooting came up big in the run. She made a critical three when the Mustangs were in the middle of their run. She made 4-6 threes in the game.

“She came off the screen and hit that three,” Rompola said. “She had an open look and we kind of took off from there.”

Junior guard Shanta Ramdhanny made a baseline three of her own and SMU never looked back.

Rice center Johnetta Hayes scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, but was limited in the Mustangs’ run. SMU clamped down on Hayes and continued to smother Rice’s shooters.

“We wanted to allow [her] only one shot,” Rompola said. “If she misses it we’re in good rebounding position. I thought we had pretty good help when the ball went into her.”

SMU moved to 10-6, 4-2 in the WAC. Moody Coliseum has been big for the Mustangs, where they are 6-2. The lost dropped Rice (6-9, 3-3) below SMU in the conference standings.

“[Rice] is a good team to come back and beat when you’re down eight,” Rompola said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for them.”

Rompola is still trying to find a solution to SMU’s first-half puzzle.

“We have got to play better in the first half,” Rompola said. “We’ve got to have better starts.”

Cossey agrees with her coach and notes that when SMU plays its best basketball, the results are usually positive.

“We’ve played with some of the top teams in the nation,” Cossey said. “We just have to come out ready to play every night.”

Freshman forward Sarah Davis scored 13 points and snagged 11 rebounds and Ramdhanny also posted 13.

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