Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Advances to First Ever Final Four

March 30, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

By Ali Williams
ajwilliams@smu.edu

After their unlikely 58-46 win over top seeded Baylor in the NCAAW Dallas Regional Tuesday night, the Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Team advances to their very first Final Four in school history.

Coming into the game A&M (31-5) had lost eight straight to Baylor (34-3), including three this season.

This time, the Aggies jumped out with a 7-0 lead in the first few minutes of the game and never looked back. They led the entire game holding a 16-point lead at one time, and made key plays to finish strong.

Sydney Carter was the leading performer for A&M with 22 points and 6 rebounds.

Baylor’s All-American Brittney Griner, although the top scorer for her team, only scored 20 points after coming off of a 40-point game Sunday against Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Griner’s shooting game struggled, with only 6 of 18 shots from the field connecting. She was also just 8 of 15 in free throws after making all 10 attempts on Sunday.

When the Lady Bears closed the gap to 48-41 with 4.5 minutes to go after two of Griner’s successful free throw attempts, A&M’s Sydney Colson became a pivotal player.

Colson scored the next five points for the Aggies, all in free throws. After being fouled on a shot and making both free throws, she stole the ball back only to be fouled again while driving the ball for a layup. Her five-in-a-row connections bumped her team’s lead back up to 53-41 before their final victory.

Aggie Tyra White scored 10 points and had 8 rebounds. Her teammate Adaora Elonu had 8 points and 10 rebounds.

The All-American post player and overall top scorer for the Aggies, Danielle Adams, had a less than average shooting game against Baylor. She completed the game with only six points. Connecting with 3 of 12 from the field and missing all five of her three pointers, the senior’s defensive game was her stronger suit this time around.

She was a lockdown defender on Griner, moving her into bad shots off the block and shutting Griner down more than she was previously used to.

Senior Lady Bear Melissa Jones scored 13 points and made 7 rebounds.

In an Associated Press article, Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair said, “This was a very special game. We didn’t ask to play Baylor, we asked to be recognized for what we accomplished during the year. They chose to put us in the same region. … Both of us could have been in the Final Four, both of us should have been in the Final Four.”

The Aggies next face Stanford, another number one seed, in the national semifinals.

Women’s Basketball Sets Record in Victory over UTEP

February 27, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Marissa Belske
msbelske@smu.edu

SMU women’s basketball(14-14, 7-8 C-USA) defeated the UTEP Miners(14-13, 6-9 C-USA) in El Paso Sunday night. The 70-64 victory completed the Mustang’s season sweep of the Miners.

SMU’s Raquel Christian led the Mustang attack setting a new school record. Christian set the SMU single-game record in 3-pointers with eight 3-point field goals, scoring a career-high 32 points. The senior went 11 for 16 from the field and a precise 8 for 12 from behind the three point arc. Christian’s 32 points is the 10th most in the program’s history.

The Mustangs went 24 for 52 in the game shooting 46.2 percent from the field. The game was close to the final seconds when junior Samantha Mahnesmith recorded 3 of 4 free throws in the final 20 seconds the take the victory. Mahnesmith scored 13 points on the night.

Senior Haley Day continued to impress, reaching double figures for the third-straight game with 10 points.

SMU concludes there regular season play this Thursday, March 3 against Rice at home in Moody Coliseum. Prior to the game the seniors will celebrate their last home game with Senior Day activities.

No. 26 SMU Women’s Tennis Triumphs Over LSU Tigers

February 21, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Ali Williams
ajwilliams@smu.edu

Sunday the No. 26 Mustang women’s tennis team defeated LSU 5-2 at SMU’s Turpin Tennis Center, boosting their record to 8-2 this spring.

Heather Steinbauer reaches to return her LSU opponent's serve. (PHOTO BY LAURA MURPHY/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

SMU started the day strong by winning all three doubles positions to win the doubles point. The Mustangs have now won eight out of ten of their doubles points this spring.

Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova improved their record to 5-3 with their 8-3 win over the No. 39 ranked pair of Wolf and Frankenberger at the top doubles position. The Mustang duo’s record against nationally ranked opponents is now 2-2.

Heather Steinbauer and Edyta Cieplucha grabbed the win over Burns and Vlaar 8-5. Steinbauer and Cieplucha, 7-1 on the season, are now seated at No. 80 in the ITA doubles rankings.

Ashley Turpin and Shahzoda Hatamova defeated Wilson and Morton 8-5, making their spring record 6-3.

In singles play, the Mustangs won four out of the six positions to claim the final victory over the Tigers.

SMU’s No. 5 Lesniak, although injured, battled out a win in the No. 1 singles position against No. 60 Whitney Wolf with sets of 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. This win for Lesniak, now 7-2 this spring, marks her 11th success over a nationally ranked opponent.

Marta Lesniak, the nation's number two singles player, closed out her opponent on Sunday. (PHOTO BY LAURA MURPHY/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Cieplucha made her third consecutive match win after downing LSU’s Kaitlin Burns 6-1, 6-3. She is now 7-2 this season at the No. 2 singles position.

Steinbauer sealed her point for the Mustangs at the No. 3 position with her defeat over Keri Frankenberger 6-3, 6-3.

Newly ranked nationally at No. 112, Malyarchikova got herself a winning point for SMU by sweeping over her opponent Yvette Vlaar 6-1, 6-2.

The two points won by LSU were at the No. 4 and No. 6 spots. Ebie Wilson performed a 6-4, 6-2 match win over Hatamova at No. 4, and Ariel Morton was in the lead with a 6-3 win when Turpin retired mid-match in the second set. Play was at 3-1 in favor of Morton.

The Mustang women’s tennis team hits the court again on Wednesday, February 23rd when they host No. 53 TCU at Turpin Tennis Center on the campus of SMU. Play starts at 6 p.m.

For more information, check out smumustangs.com.

Olympian Nastia Liukin to appear at Mustang Women’s Basketball Game

February 16, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Marissa Belske
msbelske@smu.edu

In celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, former SMU student and Olympic Gold-Medalist Nastia Liukin will make an appearance at the SMU women’s basketball game on Feb. 20.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebrates the achievements of females in athletics. The day will kick off at 12:30 p.m. with a Fan Fest. Here attendees will be given the opportunity to interact with SMU’s female student-athletes and take part in question and answer sessions, face painting and poster and t-shirt designs.

Gymnast Liukin will speak at the Fan Fest at 1:15 p.m. in the Crum Center at SMU prior to the Mustang’s Basketball game against UAB. The Mustangs tip off at 2 p.m.

Fans will also be given the chance to meet Liukin during the basketball game at an autograph signing on the concourse of Moody Coliseum. Liukin is a nine-time World Champion and has five Olympic medals.

Samantha Mahnesmith drives the basket against conference rival Marshall. The Mustangs defeated Marshall 62-46. (PHOTO BY SYDNEY GIESEY/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

SMU (13-11, 6-5 Conference USA) is tied with Tulane for fifth in the conference, one game behind a three-way tie for second. The Mustangs only have five conference games remaining in the season.

Tickets must be purchased to the game for admission to Fan Fest. All proceeds will benefit the WBCA’s PinkZone campaign which raises funds for breast cancer ressearch, education, screening and treatment.

SMU Women’s Tennis Now 5-1 After Victory Over OSU

February 7, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Ali Williams
ajwilliams@smu.edu

After facing difficult battles in last week’s ITA tournament, the No. 27 SMU women’s tennis team sped ahead to 5-1 Sunday after a no sweat face-off against No. 57 Oklahoma State (1-5).

The Mustang duos of Edyta Cieplucha and Heather Steinbauer along with Ashley Turnpin and Shahzoda Hatamova sealed the doubles point for SMU with wins of 9-7 and 8-6.

After their success with doubles, it was then smooth sailing in the singles arena for SMU. The No. 2 nationally ranked Marta Lesinak (5-1) breezed over OSU’s Sasha Belova with 6-0, 6-1 match wins. Heather Steinbauer (4-1) also overtook Cowgirl Sarah Meghoufel with back-to-back 6-3 wins.

SMU’s Aleksandra Malyarchikova (5-0) captured the team’s win with her defeat of Nataliya Shatkovskaya 6-1, 7-5.

Sunday’s play moved SMU head coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner into second place for the all time career wins list with 87 wins. She is now right behind Owen McHaney’s 94 wins during 1982-1987 (94-80). Longbotham-Meisner, the six-year head coach, holds SMU’s winning percentage record of .782 (86-24).

The Mustang women’s tennis team hits the court again on Thursday, February 10 when they take on the No. 1 Stanford Cardinals in Palo Alto, California.

For more information, check out smumustangs.com.

Women’s Tennis Team Serves Up Great Play for SMU at ITA Kick-Off Weekend

February 1, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Ali Williams
ajwilliams@smu.edu

The No. 27 SMU women’s tennis team (4-1) had an exceptional showing this Sunday and Monday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee. Both days the Mustangs faced toe-to-toe showdowns with their opponents, resulting in a loss in round one and a win in round two.

On Sunday the Mustangs battled No. 17 Ole Miss (2-1), with SMU suffering a close defeat in the final match after a 3-3 deadlock score.

SMU’s Heather Steinbauer (7-5), athlete in the deciding match, did not easily give up the win to the Rebels. Both of the sets that Ole Miss’s Caroline Rhode-Moe won to secure the victory were tiebreak wins of 7-6(4).

The Mustangs took the doubles point, but only won two of the six singles matches against the Rebels.

On Monday SMU came back to defeat No. 33 Ohio State (2-2 overall) with a final outcome of 4-3 in another grueling day of competition.

The deciding match came down to the efforts of SMU sophomore Edyta Cieplucha (6-3), who pulled out a victory in a win-loss-win three set engagement with Buckeye Kelsey Haviland, ranked No. 125.

The match lasted for four hours with set scores of 7-6(5), 2-6, and finally 7-5 for Cieplucha to capture the win for SMU.

Mustang tennis came out on top with victories in four out of the six singles matches while Ohio State took the doubles point.

Monday’s play moved SMU head coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner into a second place tie with Barbara Camp for the all-time career wins list with 86 wins. The six-year head coach holds SMU’s winning percentage record of .782 (86-24).

The Mustang women’s tennis team hits the court again on February 5th and 6th when they take on Wichita State in Wichita, Kansas followed by No. 64 Oklahoma State in Edmond, Oklahoma.

For more information, check out smumustangs.com.

SMU Women’s Basketball Falls to Southern Miss

January 30, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Mia Castillo
mcastillo@smu.edu

SMU women’s basketball team fell 75 – 63 at Southern Miss Thursday night. The Mustangs are now 10–9 and 3–3 in Conference USA. Southern Miss’s Golden Eagles improved to 9–11, 4–3 C-USA after Thursday night’s game.

Senior guard/forward, Haley Day recorded her first double-double with 10 points and a a season-high 12 rebounds. Junior guard, Samantha Mahnesmith, also scored 10 points in Thursday night’s game.

The Golden Eagles had five players in double-figures, led by Jamierra Faulkner’s 19 points. Southern Miss started out the second half with a 7-0 run. After that the Mustangs were never able to catch the Eagle charge.

SMU shot 36.9 percent for the game ( 24-of-65), while the Golden Eagles made 47.5-percent from the field (29-of-61). The Mustangs ended their three-game winning streak.

SMU’s next game will be on the road against Houston on Sunday at 2 p.m.

SMU Women’s Tennis Defeats A&M-Corpus Christi 4-0

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Women’s Soccer Beats UTEP, Falls to Colorado College

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