championships

SMU meets Minnesota in 2014 NIT championship game tonight at 6 p.m. CT in Madison Square Garden

SMU Men's Basketball during the shootaround in Madison Square Garden, NIT 2014SMU will take on Minnesota in the 2014 National Invitation Tournament Championship at 6 p.m. CT Thursday, April 3, in Madison Square Garden, New York City. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.

Both programs received No. 1 seeds in their respective regions. SMU is 4-2 all-time in the NIT, including this year’s victories over UC Irvine (68-54 on March 19), LSU (80-67 on March 24), California (67-65 on March 26) and Clemson (65-59 on April 1) en route to the program’s first national tournament final.

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SMU has 27 wins, the second-most in program history, and the most since the Mustangs recorded 28 wins in the 1987-88 season. The Mustangs went 18-1 at home this season, including 12-1 inside Moody Coliseum, and broke their single-season attendance record, setting the new mark at 107,412 (previous record was 101,296 in 1984-85).

The Mustangs are 7th in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (1st in the American), holding opponents to 38.3%. The Mustang defense is allowing just 62.2 points per game, 24th in the NCAA (3rd in the American). SMU has held 29 of its last 45 (23 of 36 this year) opponents under 40% shooting. SMU has outrebounded 25 of 36 opponents this season.

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Sports: Mustangs confirm 2010 football schedule

SMU golfer Kelly KraftThe men’s golf team carded a tournament-low round of 278 and jumped up to 3rd place in the final round of the 2010 National Invitational Tournament March 18 at Omni Tucson National Golf Resort. With a final score of 865, SMU finished just three shots behind No. 7 Texas (862) in second; TCU won the tournament at 852. Three Mustangs broke 70 on Thursday, with junior Kelly Kraft (left) shooting a 68 and sophomores Matt Schovee and James Kwon carding 69s. Senior Draegen Majors shot an even-par 72. Read more.

SMU’s 2010 football schedule will feature three home games in September and two to be broadcast on ESPN. The full regular-season slate was announced March 16.

The ESPN games include the season opener at Texas Tech at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, and the SMU-TCU Battle for the Iron Skillet in Ford Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24. The team opens conference play against UAB Sept. 11. The Conference USA Championship is slated for Dec. 4.

SMU guard Derek WilliamsMore television selections may be made in the coming weeks. Kick-off times, except those set by ESPN, are yet to be announced. Read more.

Senior guard Derek Williams (right) has been selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to its Division I All-District 11 second team, recognizing the nation’s best men’s collegiate basketball student-athletes. Williams, an anthropology major, led the Mustangs in scoring and was fourth in Conference USA at 16.6 points – the highest rank for a Mustang since SMU joined the conference. He also led SMU and was in the league’s top 10 for assists (3.7), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5) and minutes (36.4). This season, he led SMU in scoring 20 times and in assists 24 times. Read more.

Sports: Swimming and diving teams win C-USA championships

SMU swimming poolThe men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams each won their 5th consecutive Conference USA title at the University of Houston Feb. 27, 2010. For both teams it marked a 14th straight conference title, includling 9 Western Athletic Conference titles before joining C-USA in 2005.

The men totaled 871 points to beat second-place Hawaii by 38 points (833). The women scored 707 points to dominate second-place East Carolina by 96 (611). The Mustangs also made a clean sweep of the relays, winning all six on both the men’s and women’s sides. The teams compete next at the 2010 USA Swimming Austin Grand Prix March 4-6. Read more.

SMU basketball player Alice SeverinSenior post Alice Severin (right) has been named to the 2010 Conference USA All-Academic Team in women’s basketball, announced by the conference March 4. She holds a 3.71 G.P.A. in psychology and biology, the third-highest average of all players nominated. Severin is third in the conference, shooting 52.5-percent from the field, and ranks 4th in the league with 35 blocks. She is averaging 6.3 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per contest this season. The team plays in the second round of the 2010 GMC Sierra C-USA Championship March 9 in Tulsa. Read more.

The SMU Athletic Department, in conjunction with the SMU Lettermen’s Association, has announced the newest class of its Athletics Hall of Fame. The 2010 inductees are:

  • Kajsa Bergqvist (’99), world champion, indoor world record holder, and 2000 Olympic bronze medalist in the high jump.
  • Raymond Berry (’55), Pro Football Hall of Fame player who coached the New England Patriots to an AFC Championship and Super Bowl XX.
  • Michael Carter (’84), national high-school record holder in the 12-pound shot put and the only athlete in history to win an Olympic podium and a Super Bowl ring in the same year (1984), as silver medalist in the shot put and nose tackle for the NFL champion San Francisco 49ers.
  • Jerry Heidenreich (’72) a 23-time All-America swimmer and winner of two gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the 1972 Olympics.
  • Jon Koncak (’85), a 12-year NBA veteran who led the Mustang basketball team to two NCAA Tournaments and was a member of the gold medal-winning 1984 U.S. Olympic team.

The five will be honored at a dinner ceremony beginning at 7 p.m. May 7 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Buy tickets online or call 214-768-4575. Read more.

Hot Links: Women’s tennis wins first C-USA championship

SMU Women's Tennis, 2009 Conference USA Champions

The women’s tennis team added a 17th game to its program-record winning streak with its 4-1 victory over top-seeded two-time defending champion Tulsa in the 2009 Conference USA Championship April 19 in Houston. Head Coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner led the 27-2 team to its first league title since becoming a member of C-USA and its first tournament title in program history. The team also received an automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Tennis Championships. NCAA selection announcements will air at approximately 5:20 p.m. Eastern time April 28 on ESPNews. Read more.

The women’s golf team has been honored by the NCAA with a public recognition award for the team’s latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) score – marking the 3rd straight season in which the program has been so honored. Awards are given each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent in each sport. The Mustangs were among 11 squads from C-USA and 767 teams NCAA-wide that received the recognition – 11.9 percent of the approximately 6,484 Division I teams. Read more.

SMU Athletics will offer jerseys, polos, T-shirts, shorts, jackets and shoes from various Mustang sports teams in a public “garage sale” April 25 during SMU’s 2009 Red & Blue Scrimmage. The event takes place in the concourse of Gerald J. Ford Stadium starting at noon and ending at the conclusion of the scrimmage.

A special pre-sale will be open only to SMU students, faculty and staff with SMU ID from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 24 in the Hall of Champions, 3rd floor, Loyd All-Sports Center. Methods of payment are cash or check only. Read more.

Hot Links: Spring 2009 football practice begins March 30

SMU basketball player Bamba FallThe football team will kick off spring practice March 30 as the Mustangs begin their preparations for the 2009 season. Head Coach June Jones and his staff will conduct 14 practice sessions prior to the annual Red-Blue Scrimmage, which is set for 1 p.m. April 25. Read more.

The men’s basketball banquet honoring the 2008-09 team will be held at 7 p.m. April 16 in the Doubletree Campbell Center on North Central Expressway. Head coach Matt Doherty, along with graduating senior Bamba Fall (right), will speak about the season and the future of SMU basketball. Read more.

The No. 24 women’s tennis team (20-2) completed a two-match sweep March 25 to collect their 8th and 9th consecutive wins against Arkansas-Little Rock (5-10) and No. 28 DePaul (15-3) at SMU’s Turpin Tennis Stadium. It was the first time in 21 years the Mustangs have achieved a 20-win season. The team returns to action March 27 in the 2009 Via Christi Collegiate Classic in Wichita, Kansas, with their first match set for 10 a.m. against Nevada. Read more.

SMU thrower Simone du ToitFirst-year thrower Simoné du Toit (left) won the shot put and finished 3rd in discus to lead the women’s track and field team in the 2009 Trojan Invitational at USC March 21. Senior Christina Mueller won the discus event with a throw of 50.28 meters. Read more.

The women’s swimming and diving team earned 19th place at the 2009 NCAA Championships March 21 at Texas A&M. The Mustangs collected points in the 200 medley relay, 400 and 800 free relays and the platform diving event. The men’s championship takes place March 26-28 at Texas A&M. Read more.

The SMU Athletic Department, in conjunction with the Lettermen’s Association, announced the newest class of its Athletics Hall of Fame March 25. The 2009 inductees – running back Eric Dickerson (’83), basketball player Jim Krebs (’57), swimmer Steve Lundquist (’83) and golfer Kyle O’Brien Stevens (’80) – will be honored at a dinner and induction ceremony at 7 p.m. May 1 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Read more.

Hot Links: Women’s b-ball begins 2009 WNIT play March 19

SMU diver Audra EgenolfThe Conference USA champion women’s basketball team (20-11 overall, 12-4 in C-USA games) tips off against Louisiana Tech in the first round of the 2009 WNIT Tournament – the team’s 2nd consecutive postseason appearance. The action begins at 7 p.m. March 19 in the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, Louisiana, and can be heard live in the North Texas area on KAAM (770 AM). Read more.

Two Mustang divers – junior Britney Yancey and sophomore Audra Egenolf (right) – qualified for the 2009 Women’s NCAA Championships with their performances in the NCAA Zone D Qualifying Meet, held March 13-15 at the University of Missouri. Both divers qualified for the one-meter springboard event; Yancey also qualified for the three-meter springboard, while Egenolf qualified for the platform competition. The 2009 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships take place March 19-21 at Texas A&M. Read more.

The women’s tennis team has been ranked No. 24 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll – its highest ranking in 20 years. The Mustangs (18-2) extended their recent winning streak to 7 with their defeat of the No. 28 TCU Horned Frogs at Turpin Tennis Stadium March 18, 2009. Read more.

SMU golfer Kelly KraftSophomore Kelly Kraft (left) became the 2nd consecutive member of the men’s golf team to win Conference USA Golfer of the Week honors. Kraft shared the honor March 11, 2009 with Michael Whitehead of Rice; the two tied for 6th place in the 2009 Louisiana Classic March 9-10 at the par-72 Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette. This is Kraft’s 4th career weekly honor and 2nd of the 2008-09 season. Read more.

Senior Kate Ackerson took the title in the 2009 Baylor Spring Invitational at Twin Rivers Golf Club March 17, carding a three-round total of 223 (74-74-75) for a two-stroke win. The SMU women’s golf team placed 7th overall. Read more.

Hot Links: Three Mustang teams earn C-USA titles

SMU Women's Basketball Coach Rhonda Rompola cuts the net

The women’s basketball team defeated UTEP 78-65 to win its first Conference USA championship Feb 28, 2009. Four players scored in the double digits: junior guards Brittany Gilliam and Jillian Samuels (with a game-high 24 points and 19 points, respectively); sophomore guard LaShandra Hill with 11 points; and first-year center Christine Elliott, who posted her 2nd consecutive double-double with 15 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

Gilliam, with 71 steals for the season, was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, as well as to the All-Conference Second Team and All-Defensive Team. Junior forward Delisha Wills joined Gilliam on the All-Conference Second Team, and Elliott was named to the All-Freshman Team, as well as Rookie of the Week for the week of March 2. Elliott had 21 rebounds against Tulane on Feb. 26, setting a new SMU record for a freshman and tying the school record for rebounds by any player set by Felicia Bluitt in 1986 against TCU. Elliott also tied for the second-highest total in any Conference USA game.

The team begins play in the 2009 C-USA tournament at noon March 6 in New Orleans. The Mustangs enter as the No. 1 seed. (Above, Head Coach Rhonda Rompola cuts the last string of the net after the UTEP game.) Read more.

SMU diver Matthew CulbertsonMeanwhile, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have each won their 13th consecutive conference championships. In the men’s competition, the Mustangs won 15 events and set 9 meet records on their way to the overall victory in the CRWC Natatorium at the University of Houston Feb. 25-28, 2009. Individual titleists included junior Thomas Fadnes (50 free, 100 free); junior Pontus Renholm (100 back, 200 back); junior Edward Downes (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly); and sophomore Matthew Culbertson (top left), who swept the one-meter springboard, three-meter springboard and platform diving events.

In addition, 5 relay teams finished first. Renholm, Fadnes and seniors Grega Plevelj and Luka Vrtovec won the 200 medley relay. Downes, first-year swimmers Robin Andreasson and Walter Rumans and junior Maverick Smalley won the 800 free relay. Renholm, Plevelj, Downes and Fadnes titled in the 400 medley relay. Fadnes, Vrtovec, Andreasson and Renholm swam to a new C-USA meet record, season-best, and NCAA “B” provisional-qualifying time of 1:18.35 in the 200 free relay. Finally, Andreasson, Vrtovec, Rumans and Fadnes won the 400 free relay. Read more.

SMU swimmer Petra KlosovaIn the women’s meet – also in Houston’s CRWC Natatorium Feb. 25-28, 2009 – the Mustangs swept the medal stand in two events. Seniors Petra Klosova (right) and Candace Blackman, with sophomore Sascha Van den Branden, finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 100 free. Senior Jennifer Basel and juniors Devon Callaghan and Justine Clark took gold, silver and bronze in the 200 IM. Klosova also finished first in the 100 back with a season-best time of 53.82. Other individual titleists included Callaghan (100 breast), Van den Branden (50 free), first-year swimmer Raminta Dvariskyte (200 breast), first-year swimmer Therese Svendsen (200 back), and sophomore Elzanne Werth (100 fly).

The women’s team also titled in 5 relays. Svendsen, Klosova, Werth and Callaghan won the 200 medley relay. Blackman, Van den Branden, Klosova and freshman Christy-Leigh Lategan won the 800 free relay in 7:07 – 11 seconds ahead of second-place Rice. Svendsen, Callaghan, Werth and Klosova touched in at 3:34.62 in the 400 medley relay, a full 4 seconds faster than the record they set last season. Blackman, Van den Branden, Werth and Klosova titled in the 200 free relay. Finally, Blackman, Van den Branden, Werth and Klosova set another meet record and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:17.00 in the 400 free relay. Read more.

SMU golfer Marc SambolThe men’s golf team won the 2009 Northwood Spring Invite March 3 at Thorntree Country Club, carding a team total of 603 to defeat host Northwood by 13 strokes. Leading the Mustangs was first-year player Marc Sambol (bottom left) with a two-stroke victory over Benjamin Belfield of Northwood. All five SMU golfers finished in the top 8 of the 2-day event, with freshman Aaron Stewart and senior Frank Wrenn tying for 3rd, first-year Matt Schovee tying for 6th and sophomore Nicholas Soglanich taking 8th. Read more.