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 falls to Aggies after close battle

The Mustangs played the No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies close through most of the game, but fell 62-57 in the end.

The Mustangs came off a little slow in the beginning, but once the points started showing up on the board, SMU held its lead through the entire first half. A&M got on the board first with a three-pointer by sophomore forward Ashlea Horton. The Mustangs scored their first points when sophomore forward Delisha Wills made a free throw.

A&M continued to expand its lead as the minutes ticked by, but SMU kept the game close matching the Aggies in shots. The team also worked on improving its rebounding and increasing steals throughout the first 20 minutes.

SMU tied the game at seven when Wills hit her fifth free-throw shot of the night.

After several missed shots and turnovers by A&M, the Mustangs took the lead when senior Janielle Dodds sunk a jump shot, putting the Mustangs up 9-7.

SMU held the Aggies to seven points until the ninth minute when A&M’s star player, sophomore guard Takia Starks, sunk her second jump shot of the evening, diminishing the Mustangs lead to 13-9.

The Mustangs consistently increased their lead with sophomore forward Brittany Gilliam knocking in one of two free throws. Wills led the team with 13 points at the half, followed closely by teammate Dodds. Dodds was 7-7 in free throws, while Wills made four out her five field goals. A&M’s Starks led her team with 10 points, followed by freshman guard Sydney Colson with six points.

With the fear of playing against Starks, the Mustangs did a remarkable job of keeping the ball away from her, limiting her playing time and putting her out of the game several times with an ankle injury.

“She’s a good player, she’s quick and I think we did a pretty good job on her, but she’s a good player. We have to work together, be tougher and be more aggressive. If they are going to up their pressure, then we have to up ours,” explained Dodds about playing against A&M star Starks.

SMU went into the locker room at the half leading by 10 points, 36-26. The team averaged 47.4 percent of its attempted field goals, 25 percent in three-point shots, and 73.9 percent in free throws.

A&M, on the other hand, averaged 34.4 percent of its field goals and were 50 percent in three-point shots, averaging only 33.3 percent of its free throws.

The second half of the game saw a slightly different outcome than the first half for SMU when the Aggies’ defense kicked into high gear. The Mustangs started losing their lead immediately when Horton made a free throw, followed by a three-pointer by senior guard A’Quonesia Franklin, and a jump shot by Starks. A&M took the lead back with a three-point shot by Franklin that put her team up 39-38.

For the next several minutes of the game, the teams battled back and forth with both teams posting missed shots, rebounds and steals, all of which contributed to a faster-paced, almost sloppy game style. The opponent kept its lead till the 33rd minute, when SMU momentarily tied the game at 48 with another free throw by Wills.

However, the Mustangs effort was just not enough compared to A&M’s pressure, and SMU surrendered its lead for good when senior forward Patrice Reado set a lay up to put the score at 52-51.

“What hurt us [in the] second half was Delisha kind of played hurt, her spark disappeared and that hurt us. It was a key when Katy Cobb fouled out, and she’s somebody who offensively can create their own shot,” explained head coach Rhonda Rompola.

The Mustangs managed to stay within a seven-point range till the end of the game, but just could not make a shot. SMU lost it in the last two minutes and 15 seconds, leaving the final score at 57-62.

“It looked like that at one point, I don’t want to say we gave up, but we just didn’t finish strong,” Rompola said.

Wills and Dodds brought in a combined total of 32 points for their team, with Wills totaling 17 and Dodds 15.

“We have to learn how to finish teams, and when they make runs, we have to take that back from them,” explained Rompola. “It was a great game to start out with. It was extremely physical, I’m glad it was physical so the girls could see what it’s like to play on this level.”

The Mustangs will take on Texas A&M Corpus Christi tonight in Corpus.

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