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


Women’s hoops finds winning groove

The SMU women’s basketball team was embarrassed when they left Houston Jan. 27.

They had just lost to the Houston Cougars by 16 points and had let Houston pull down 68 rebounds. That defeat was head coach Rhonda Rompola’s theme during practices this past week.

Whatever she said definitely worked.

SMU came out with determination and fire last Saturday and beat Houston 61-50 in the last home game of the season.

“I think we came out in the first half and played like we were embarrassed,” junior Janielle Dodds said.

The Mustangs were all over the glass, out-rebounding the Cougars 47-39.

Dodds played tough in the paint, causing Houston’s big post player, ShaQuaylon McKinney, to sit out some of the first half and most of the second half with four early fouls. This helped open up the inside on offense as well.

“We knew she was very foul-prone, and I myself wanted to foul her out in the first half,” Dodds said. “I didn’t play well against her last time and wanted to prove something.”

Dodds proved she is the offensive leader on the team. She led the team with 17 points and put McKinney in foul trouble, allowing the Mustangs to score 32 points in the paint.

“Janielle is our go-to player,” assistant head coach Lisa Dark said. “When it comes down to it, we want her taking the pressure shots. She knows that and our team knows that.”

Sharee Shepherd ended the game all over the stats sheet with 11 points, four assists, one block and six steals.

Shepherd, a Houston native, did not get to play in the first game against Houston this season due to a back injury.

“Most of the people I played against in high school go to Rice or Houston,” Shepherd said. “Not being able to play down there was so hard.”

Shepherd and Dodds weren’t the only players with stellar games. Sophomore Elbie Gates had a career-high 10 points in the first half.

The Mustangs caught a break when Houston’s star player, junior guard Tye Jackson, sat out the end of the first half and didn’t start the second half due to food poisoning. Jackson only played 20 minutes, significantly less than her 36.9 average on the season.

“I would say that Tye Jackson is Houston,” Dark said. “She is just a phenomenal offensive player. Her being out was huge and I was surprised she was held out so long.”

Dodds said not having Jackson in the game gave the Mustangs less to worry about and the ability to help out each other on defense.

“Any time you take out their best offensive player it helps to stop all the other players,” she said.

The Mustangs have two more games in the regular season before the Conference USA Tournament. Dodds says the team is finally clicking and working together.

“I think we are on the uphill right now. If we win the next two games, which we know we can do, we will definitely be on the right track,” she said. “It is better to be motivated now and moving forward than motivated five games ago and go down hill.”

The Mustangs will return to the court this Thursday against Tulane in New Orleans.

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