SMU Women’s Basketball Participate in Puerto Rico Classic

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Mustangs Win First Two Games in Classic

SMU Outlasts Gardner-Webb For 69-61 Victory; Plays No. 9 Mississippi State For Tournament Title

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (SMU) – Stephanie Collins was a rebound shy of a second-straight double-double, leading the SMU women’s basketball team to a 69-61 victory over the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs on day two of the Puerto Rico Classic Sunday afternoon at Rubén Zayas Montañez Coliseum. The sophomore scored 14 points with nine rebounds to lead the Mustangs in both categories.

Leading 21-20 with 6:42 left in the half, Gardner-Webb (6-4) scored six unanswered points over a two minute span to jump ahead, 27-20. SMU (5-5) responded with a 12-0 run sparked by Keely Froling off the bench, taking a 32-27 lead into halftime. SMU came out of the break and kept the offensive pressure on, expanding its run to 14-0 with a McKenzie Adams layup early in the third quarter. Gardner-Webb made two layups to cut the lead to six before SMU found another hot streak, scoring nine unanswered points for a 43-29 lead. In the final minutes of the third quarter, Gardner-Webb managed four unanswered points, trailing by nine, 50-41, at the start of the final 10 minutes.

SMU led by as many as 15 points in the game, a 45-31 advantage with 2:42 left in the third quarter, and scored back-to-back buckets to take a 13-point lead late in the fourth quarter, 63-50 with 3:44 remaining in the game. The Runnin’ Bulldogs scored five unanswered to cut the lead to eight before Alicia Froling stretched the SMU lead to 10 with a layup. Gardner-Webb continued to press, chipping the deficit to six, 67-61 in the final minutes, but the SMU defense shut down the Runnin’ Bulldog threat to claim the victory.

Collins went 7-for-12 from the field and recorded two blocks and an assist. Gabrielle Wilkins finished with 12 points and three assists, going 6-for-9 from the field. McKenzie Adams and Alicia Froling each finished with 11 points, and Keely Froling, in her first game of the season, scored 10 points off the bench, finishing 5-for-6 from the field in just 11 minutes. SMU shot 50.8 percent from the field, 31-of-61, while holding the Runnin’ Bulldogs to just 30.8 percent from the field, 16-of-52.

The Mustangs will take on the ninth-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Puerto Rico Classic championship game Sunday at 12:15 p.m. CT. The two squads are the only undefeated (2-0) teams in the tournament, with SMU beating Arizona and Gardner Webb, and Mississippi State defeating Florida Gulf Coast and Western Michigan. Fans can follow along with video, live stats and audio at SMUMustangs.com.

SMU Knocks Off Arizona 58-46 On Day One Of Puerto Rico Classic

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (SMU) – The SMU women’s basketball team out-scored Arizona 21-6 in the fourth quarter to defeat the Wildcats, 58-46, on day one of the Puerto Rico Classic Saturday afternoon. Stephanie Collins recorded her first double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and McKenzie Adams scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Mustangs.

With SMU leading 27-24 at halftime, Arizona came out of the break and out-scored the Mustangs 16-10 in the third quarter to reclaim the lead, 40-37. Arizona (7-2) expanded its lead to five in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, before Adams and Morgan Bolton hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give SMU (4-5) the lead and spark a 15-2 run pushing the SMU lead to 10, 56-46. The Mustangs’ defense held the Wildcat offense to just three field goals on 12 attempts in the final quarter, allowing just six Arizona points. SMU was 7-of-13 in the final 10 minutes, including 2-of-4 from behind the arc.

Adams went 6-for-14 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. Morgan Bolton finished with a season-high 11 points, giving the Mustangs three players in double figures scoring. The point guard went 2-for-6 from behind the 3-point arc and tallied three assists. Ashley Gibson was a point shy of double-digits, scoring nine with five rebounds and four steals. Alicia Froling nearly finished with her 11th career double-double, scoring eight points and grabbing nine rebounds. The sophomore also matched her career high with three assists.

After falling behind 3-0 early in the first, SMU used a 10-0 to jump ahead 10-3. Arizona chipped away at the deficit with five unanswered points. A Froling free throw and a Collins layup stretched the Mustang lead to 5, 13-8, before the Wildcats responded with another 5-0 run to close out the quarter and knot the game, 13-13. The two traded teams traded points in the second quarter but SMU managed to out-scored the Wildcats 14-11 to take a 27-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Mustangs shot 33.9 percent as a team, going 20-for-59, and held Arizona to season lows in points, 46, and field goal percentage, 28.8 percent. Taryn Griffey led the Wildcats with 16 points, but the guard was one of just two Arizona players with more than four points.