SMU Mustangs Knock Off Abilene Christian

Filed under: SMU Women's Basketball,Sports | – Freshman Ariana Whitfield keeps one-upping herself. For the third straight game, the Houston, Texas, native reached a career-high point total, this time at 18. Her 14 first-half points helped SMU grab an early lead and coast to a 65-44 victory against Abilene Christian on Tuesday night.

“The way that Ari answered the bell, she came out swinging,” head coach Travis Mays. “She came out because she was prepared. She wasn’t forcing shots. She was taking what the defense gave her. Her mentality was aggressive. We see that every day in practice.”

Senior McKenzie Adams was her usual self, leading the Mustangs in scoring with 20 points. Senior Kiara Perry also joined in on the double-figure scoring for SMU, dropping in 12 points on 55 percent shooting from the field. Both Adams and Perry were also active on the glass, each grabbing five rebounds apiece.

The Mustangs controlled the game from the opening tip and never trailed. SMU’s defense was a driving force for that, holding the Wildcats to just 33 percent shooting. Abilene Christian finished the game with more turnovers (20) than made baskets (16). The Mustangs’ 11 steals were a season-high.

“The team that we beat tonight got our attention as a coaching staff,” Mays said. “I got the team’s attention, and they responded. I’m super proud of how they played and competed from the tip to the final buzzer. They competed extremely hard, and they coupled that by being disciplined.”

Freshman Johnasia Cash once again gave extremely productive minutes for the Mustangs, leading the way in rebounds with a career-high nine in just 19 minutes of play.

SMU is back on the road again, traveling to Reno, Nevada for the Nugget Classic. The Mustangs face UC Riverside on Friday at 6:30 CT, followed by either Nevada or Sacramento State on Sunday.

Box Score