Sports

No. 14 SMU men’s basketball team clinches share of 2016-17 AAC title with 93-70 win over Tulsa

The No. 14 SMU men’s basketball team locked up at least a share of the 2016-17 American Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a decisive 93-70 victory over Tulsa on Thursday, March 2 in Moody Coliseum.

Redshirt junior psychology major Semi Ojeleye, who earlier in the day had been named to the CoSIDA 2016-17 Academic All-America second team, was perfect from the field. Yet he was more impressed with a play from a sitting position by sophomore Shake Milton that set up a Mustang goal and made highlight reels throughout sports media. (See a video profile of Ojeleye by SMU News’ Myles Taylor in the video link above.)

Milton maintained control of the ball after tripping just past midcourt, even dribbling between his legs, before passing to senior sport management major Sterling Brown, who delivered the alley-oop to Ojeleye. Milton racked up his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 assists, even without getting any stats for the highlight play.

Ojeleye made all nine of his field goal attempts, including three 3-pointers, and all five starters scored in double figures for the Mustangs (26-4, 16-1). Sophomore Jarrey Foster added 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting, while Brown scored 19 points and senior English major Ben Moore netted 12 .

The Mustangs have a 12-game winning streak and a one-game lead in the AAC standings over No. 18 Cincinnati (26-4, 15-2), which won its home finale 65-47 over Houston earlier Thursday night. They can take sole possession of the league title with a win at home Saturday over Memphis.

> Read the full story from SMU Athletics

Mustang Football announces 2017 schedule

SMU FootballSMU Football has announced its 2017 schedule, which will include seven home games. The Mustangs will open the season with their annual Whiteout in Ford Stadium on Sept. 2 against Stephen F. Austin. They will remain at home the following week, hosting 2016 bowl team North Texas on Sept. 9.

Visiting teams during the 2017 season will include 2016 bowl teams Tulsa, UCF and Arkansas State, as well as American Athletic Conference rivals Tulane and UConn.

Highlights include:

  • TCU, The Battle for the Iron Skillet, Sept. 16 in Fort Worth
  • Arkansas State, Sept. 23 (Family Weekend)
  • UConn, Sept. 30 (conference game)
  • UCF, Nov. 4 (Homecoming)
  • Tulane, Nov. 25 (Senior Day, conference game)

> Find the full 2017 Mustang football schedule at SMUMustangs.com

Sports: Rescheduled SMU Football Fan Day includes scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

SMU Football red chrome helmetAfter a postponement for inclement weather, the rescheduled SMU Football Fan Day will take place Saturday, Aug. 27 in Ford Stadium. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and all activities are free and open to the public.

Posters, schedule cards and #GetHereForGameday yard signs will be available at the event. In addition, fans will be able to come onto the field after the intersquad scrimmage for autographs and photos with the Mustangs.

SMU will play Liberty University in the 2016 home opener Saturday, Sept. 17. Other home games include five opponents who were ranked in 2015, including Houston, USF, Navy, Memphis and TCU, who come to Dallas xxx for the 2016 Battle For the Iron Skillet.

The team’s 2016 season begins Saturday, Sept. 3 at the University of North Texas. The Mustangs take on the Mean Green at 6 p.m. in Apogee Stadium, Denton.

Season tickets are still available. For information on faculty-staff discounts, call the Athletics Department Ticket Office at 214-768-4263 (214-SMU-GAME) or visit GetHereForGameday.com.

By | 2016-08-25T16:02:32+00:00 August 25, 2016|Categories: Calendar Highlights, Sports|Tags: , , , |

Mustang spirit squads shine at 2016 NCA Collegiate National Championship

SMU Cheerleaders, 2016 NCA Champions, 400px

SMU cheerleaders react after being named 2016 NCA Champions

The SMU cheer squad had plenty to cheer about after winning first place at the NCA Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida – the first time the team has captured the title. The 20-member team competed against 17 other teams in the Intermediate Small Coed Division in the two-day April event.

“Last year we placed second by .08, so this team was laser-focused on winning,” said SMU cheer and pom coach Tiffany Fettinger. “The students performed a perfect routine at finals. I am so proud of them.”

Qualifying for the competition began during cheerleading camp at SMU in summer 2015 when the team was offered the highest bid to the championship after its performance. In the time between qualifying for the competition and winning the championship, the SMU cheer squad supported SMU football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as appearing at numerous other SMU events.

SMU Pom Squad, 3rd place, NCA 2016, 400px

The SMU Pom Squad at Daytona Beach

Members of the winning squad include Jessie Abernathy, Sarah Almeida, Tess Balentine, Charleigh Berry Meg Bres, Hanna Clarke, Austin Copeland, Reid Burkett, Ashton Chmielewski, Blaise Graham, Stefanie Henger, Isaac Huerta, Kendall Kramer, Camille Monette, Brandon Niven, Janie Pascoe, Lindsey Ray, Colette Rushing, Morgan Silva, Sydney Tomlinson and Nathan Williams.

SMU Pom also performed well at the competition, placing third in Pom Division I.

Pom team members include Natalie Brock, Caroline Carter, Rachel Cocke, Shannon Flaherty, Emma Hill, Lisa Ingham, Jenny Katlein, Alexis Kopp, Katherine McGowan, Karlie Morris, Erika Olsen, Brooke Peterson, Morgan Peterson, Blake Ann Seeker, Rachael Seidl, Grace Stokes, Blair Welch, Jordan Woodruff, Megan Young and Ashley Jo Zaccagnini

The National Cheerleaders Association has its roots at SMU, founded in 1948 by former SMU cheerleader and creator of the “Herkie” jump, Lawrence Herkimer ’48.

Nancy George

Sports: End of the year doesn’t stop the SMU Mustangs

equestrianteamSix Mustangs Earn Academic All-America Accolades, 13 Named to Honor Roll: Fourteen members of the SMU equestrian team earned National Collegiate Equestrian Association academic honors, the NCEA announced. Six riders earned spots on the Beval Saddlery Academic All-America team, while 13 were named to the La Hacienda Academic Honor Roll. Schaefer Raposa, Sylvia de Toledo and Keagan Snively achieved first-team status, which is awarded to student-athletes who competed in a minimum of 70 percent of meets during the 2015-16 season, and earned a cumulative 3.5 GPA. de Toledo achieved a team-high 3.97 GPA, Raposa boasted a 3.70 and Snively maintained a 3.54.

Three Mustangs Qualify for Rio Olympic GamesNina Rangelova ’15 (Bulgaria), Rachel Nicol ’16 (Canada) and Matea Samardzic (Croatia) are headed to Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games. Qualification rounds are ongoing but these three have already reached Olympic Qualifying Time standards in at least one event. Rangelova, current volunteer assistant coach, will be making her third appearance at an Olympics game. Nicol will be participating in her first. Samardzic who is set to join SMU for the 2016-2017 year will also be competing for the first time. Swimming action runs from Aug. 6-13 so be sure to support our Mustangs!

averyAcker Receives Presidential Award of Excellence: Avery Acker, a senior volleyball player, received the Presidential Award of Excellence: Scholar/Athlete Award at the Hilltop Excellence Awards. Acker was also named 2015-16 American Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year earlier this semester. Acker will attend medical school in the fall.

goldwomenMustangs Selected For NCAA Women’s Golf Bryan Regional: The SMU women’s golf team has been selected as one of 18 teams to compete at the NCAA Women’s Golf Regional held in Bryan, Texas, at Traditions Club May 5-7. SMU is the No.9 seed for the event. The Mustangs are seeking their first NCAA Championship appearance since 1992. The top six teams from each Regional will earn a championship berth, as well as the top three individuals from non-qualifying teams.

Travis Mays Named Head Women’s Basketball Coach at SMU

travismaysTravis Mays has been named the new Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Director of Athletics Rick Hart announced last week. Mays previously served as an assistant coach for 14 years at various schools, serving under three hall of fame coaches. He has also played 11 years of professional basketball both domestically and abroad.

> SMU Forum: Rhonda Rompola announces retirement after 35 years with SMU women’s basketball.

“After meeting with Travis, I immediately knew that he was ready to be a head coach,” said Hart. “He has a tremendous coaching pedigree, having learned from some of the best in the business. Everyone spoke so highly of Travis — even those outside his immediate coaching circle, like Geno Auriemma. Travis displays strong character and a will to succeed. In short, he is a winner.”

Not only is Travis a gifted floor coach but he is also a recruiter with Texas roots. He graduated from the University of Texas, playing as a guard from 1986-90,  later going on to serve a three-year stint for the women’s basketball program from 2004-07 and then returning in 2012 to serve as Assistant Head Coach. He comes to SMU from Texas where he spent the past four seasons. His duties at Texas included recruiting, preparing opponent scouting reports, instructing guards on the court and public speaking at various community service and campus events.

“I think as a former player at Texas, Travis has name recognition and the ability to recruit that will make him a tremendous hire at SMU,” said Van Chancellor, a Hall of Fame Coach. “Sometimes during a hire, the Athletic Director is trying to hit a home run, and I think SMU has hit a grand slam.”

> Find more information on Coach Mays’ extensive background on the SMU Athletics page

Sports: Hard work all around

tennisSMU Tops UMBC 6-1: The #44 SMU Mustang’s Tennis team picked up their 13th win of the season on Tuesday night here at the Turpin Stadium at the SMU Tennis Complex. After beating UMBC, they’ve now extended their win streak to a season-high eight matches. Head Coach Carl Neufeld was especially proud of their dedication throughout the game. On Thursday night, the Mustangs fell in a tight match to #39 Columbia in Turpin Stadium. They’ll be back at it on Saturday against Dartmouth.

footballpracitceMustangs Kicked Off Spring Practice: Preparations for the 2016 season of SMU Football began on March 15. Fifteen practice sessions will take place over the next four-plus weeks. The practices will culminate in the Spring Game schedule for April 16 at 1 p.m. The game is open to the public and admission is free for all fans. Make sure to be there in support of the second year of the #PonyUpTempo era!

SMU Basketball in the AP Top 25: In the final AP Top 25 poll of the season, SMU came in at No. 24. The Mustangs have been ranked for the 17th consecutive week this season. The team finished with a 25-5 record for the season and placed second in the American conference at 13-5 in league action. Hats off to the SMU Men’s Basketball team for an outstanding season!

By | 2016-03-21T10:53:13+00:00 March 18, 2016|Categories: Sports|Tags: , , , |

Sports: SMU seniors being honored for their years on the Hilltop

bball seniorsSMU Men’s Basketball Senior Night: On Thursday, March 3, the SMU Men’s Basketball team honored its seniors with a pregame ceremony. For their final home game of the season, the Mustangs defeated the University of Connecticut Huskies 80-54. Following the victory, Coach Larry Brown and seniors Nic Moore, Markus Kennedy and Jordan Tolbert gave heart warming speeches to finish off an outstanding season of SMU basketball. The evening ended in true SMU fashion with confetti pouring onto fans and the SMU Basketball team. Their season will officially come to a close this Sunday after their final game at Cincinnati.

avery

Avery Acker

Acker Named the American Female-Scholar of the Year: Avery Acker, a standout senior volleyball player, has been named the 2015-2016 American Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She is attending medical school next year and will receive $4,000 towards her professional education. She finished with a 3.941 grade-point average as an accounting major, with minors in chemistry and biological sciences. Acker graduated in December summa cum laude. Acker was a three-time starter and a three-year captain, leading the Mustangs to a program-best 27 wins and the school’s first conference championship in 2015.

Lammons

Nate Lammons

Lammons Tabbed Conference Player of the Week: SMU senior, Nate Lammons, was named the American Athletic Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the week. He posted a perfect combined record of 6-0 as the Mustangs went 2-1 last week. Lammons is currently on a six-match win streak in singles play and eight-match win streak in doubles action with teammate Slobodkins.

By | 2016-03-14T08:54:41+00:00 March 4, 2016|Categories: Sports|

Sports: Rhonda Rompola announces retirement after 35 years with SMU women’s basketball

rompolaRompola Announces Retirement: On Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, Mustang women’s basketball head coach Rhonda Rompola announced that she will be retiring at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season. She has been a part of the Hilltop for the past 35 years, first as a student-athlete and then as a coach. Rompola has either played or coached in 35 of the 40 seasons in which SMU has sponsored women’s basketball as a varsity sport. As Rick Hart, SMU Director of Athletics, put it, “Rhonda is synonymous with SMU women’s basketball.” SMU will honor Rompola after the team’s final home game on Saturday, Feb. 27, when the Mustangs host Houston at 2 p.m.

Day four of the 2015 American Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium in Houston, TX on Saturday February 20, 2016. (Ben Solomon/American Athletic Conference)

Day four of the 2015 American Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium in Houston, TX on Saturday February 20, 2016.
(Ben Solomon/American Athletic Conference)

Mustangs Repeat As AAC Swimming and Diving Champions: The SMU women’s swimming and diving team defended their title as American Athletic Conference champions this past weekend at the University of Houston. They once again came out on top, winning 10 of 18 swimming events, including a sweep of all five relays. This Championship is the Mustangs’ second in the three-year history of the American, and 17th in the last 20 seasons. The Mustangs finished with 681 points, while runner-up Tulane finished with 637.5. Head coach Steve Collins and assistant coach Ashley Dell were also honored as the 2016 AAC Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year, an award the staff was also honored with in 2015.

SMU Men’s Basketball Takes the Win Against East Carolina (add in Memphis away game on Thursday): On a Sunday afternoon of Moody Magic, No. 21 SMU defeated East Carolina 74-63. Nic Moore held down 22 points, including four 3-pointers after half-time. SMU is still in contention to win the league’s regular season-title for the second-year in a row. This win also allowed SMU to stay in the AP Top 25 for the 14th consecutive week, currently standing at No. 24.

By | 2016-02-26T14:16:11+00:00 February 26, 2016|Categories: Sports|

Sports: SMU In It to Win It

February 17, 2016: at Moody Coliseum. Photo by Vladimir Cherry

SMU Women’s Basketball celebrated Senior Day 2016 with a win over Tulsa in Moody Coliseum.
Photo by Vladimir Cherry

SMU beats Tulsa 62-45 on Senior Day: SMU Women’s Basketball took the win over Tulsa on Wednesday night, 62-45. Stephanie Collins set an SMU single-game record with seven blocks, and had 10 rebounds and 10 points for her second double-double of the season. Collins’ seven blocks is the second most in the American Athletic Conference this season. Gabrielle Wilkins, who was honored in a pregame ceremony, finished with 12 rebounds, six points, six assists and three steals. SMU took control early, outscoring the Golden Hurricane 20-6 in the opening 10 minutes and maintained the lead throughout the game.

SMU Men’s Basketball takes on Gonzaga and UConn: On Saturday, Feb. 13, #16 SMU took on Gonzaga at Moody Coliseum finishing with a 69-60 win. This non-conference match-up of league leaders, broke the Zags six-game winning streak and hurt their chances of reentering the Top 25. On Thursday, Feb. 18, #21 SMU fell to UConn on the road, 68-62. SMU will replay UConn at home on Thursday, March 3 – stay tuned!

volleyballFour Mustangs to Attend USA Volleyball National Team Tryout: Four Mustangs will attend the USA Volleyball National Team tryouts Feb. 19-21, 2016. The group includes AVCA All-American Honorable Mention award winners Morgan Heise and Janelle Giordano, as well as Katie Hegarty and Lauren Mills. The tryout will include 231 student-athletes from 88 participating universities and colleges and can be viewed online here.

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