DALLAS (SMU) – Alicia Froling tied former player and retiring-head coach Rhonda Rompola with her 13th double-double of the season, scoring 14 points with 12 rebounds, but the effort fell short as the SMU women’s basketball team fell ,63-54, to Houston in its final home game of the regular season Saturday.
Rompola was honored during a pregame ceremony to celebrate her retirement after 35 years on the Hilltop. Rompola played one season (1981-82) in a Mustang uniform before starting her coaching career at SMU. She was named head coach in 1991, and has tallied a 438-316 record at the helm of the Mustangs. Rompola boasts a 239-95 record at home and has accumulated the most victories of any coach in SMU history.
SMU tallied seven blocked shots en route to setting the single-season blocks record. The Mustangs have recorded 166 blocks this season, breaking the previous record, 160, which was set last season. Froling, went 5-for-14 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. The 6-3 forward also finished with three blocks and one assist. McKenzie Adams led the Mustangs with 18 points, going 6-for-17, while converting 6-of-6 free-throw attempts. In her final home game in a Mustang uniform, senior Gabrielle Wilkins scored five points, while grabbing seven rebounds with three steals.
Trailing 40-32 with 4:46 left in the third quarter, SMU (12-16, 7-10 American Athletic Conference) scored six unanswered points, led by Adams who scored four of the six, to cut the Houston (6-22, 2-15 The American) lead to two, 40-38 with two minutes left in the quarter. Despite outscoring the Cougars 18-17 in the third, Houston maintained a three-point, 43-40, lead with the final 10 minutes remaining. Houston outscored SMU 20-14 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
SMU outscored the Cougars 13-12 after the opening 10 minutes, before Houston surpassed the Mustangs with a 14-9 second quarter to take a 26-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
SMU plays its final regular-season game at East Carolina Monday. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT. SMU is 6-7 all-time against the Pirates after beating ECU, 74-67, in overtime on Feb. 9. The series started Jan. 27, 2006, when ECU won 75-63 at home.