Saturday, May 30th, 2020

Rebounding gives Wake Forest the edge in defeat of Southern Methodist

Published on December 22, 2011


Wake's Mykala Walker

DALLAS – Wake Forest came to Dallas with rebounding on their mind knowing it would be the key to defeating Southern Methodist. The Demon Deacons succeeded with their game plan to outrebound the Mustangs 54-29 en route to a 65-53 victory Wednesday night in Moody Coliseum. Twenty-one of those 54 boards came on the offensive end.

“We rebounded the ball really well,” said Wake head coach Mike Petersen, “and in the first half we shot 52 percent from the field.”

The Deacs pulled down 27 rebounds to SMU’s 13 in the first half and were 51.6 from the field in contrast to SMU’s 31.3 field goal percentage.

Wake Forest started the game on a 7-1 run. After a layup from SMU’s Christine Elliot, teammate Sam Mahesmith helped the Mustangs cut into the lead with a three-point shot to get her team within one point. But Wake came right back with a flurry of baskets to gain an eight-point lead, 16-8.

Free throws helped SMU once again cut into the lead along with another trey by Mahnesmith and the game was tied at 20 with nearly 10 minutes left in the half. Wake’s Sandra Garcia initiated the Deacs’ resurgence with a jumper less than 15 seconds after the tie and her team went into the break leading SMU 38-29.

In the second half, Wake came out and scored five quick points for a 14-point lead. Frustration began to set in and SMU sophomore forward Akil Simpson got into a verbal altercation with Wake center Lindsy Wright. The referees penalized Simpson with a technical foul. The Mustangs fired up offensively after the technical to go on an 8-2 run and tie the game up again. Yet, Wake turned up their defense and quickly broke the tie with five straight points. They kept SMU scoreless for the last four minutes of the game.

While Wake dominated in the rebounding column, they had an off night when it came to free throws and amassed 21 turnovers in contrast to SMU’s 17.

“We offset some deficiencies by rebounding the ball and we created some offense with our defense late in the game,” said Petersen of those statistics. “Our pressure turned back up again and we got shots.”

For SMU head coach Rhonda Rompola, the lack of rebounding by her team boiled down to effort and physicality.

“Leading up to this game, in our pregame talk rebounding was a big part of it because last year when we played Wake at Wake they hurt us on the boards,” she said. “And you know yes they’re bigger and their lengthy and long and they were very physical but you’ve got to push people out of their spots. We turned but we didn’t push back enough. You’ve got to be more physical. Your smaller guards have got to be able to learn to box out bigger players.”

Wake was led by junior Mykala Walker who scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds for her first career double-double. Walker only played 23 minutes as she got into by foul trouble and ended-up fouling out. She was 7-of-10 from the floor and six of her 11 boards came from the offensive end.

Junior Sandra Garcia added 12 points while Secily Ray had nine points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Dearica Hamby grabbed eight rebounds to go along with six points.

For SMU, Mahnesmith was the leading scorer with 12 points. Raven Short added 11 and Sabrina McKinney had 10 points.

The victory was the second road win for Wake Forest this season. They improve to 8-3 while SMU falls to 6-5.

After the Christmas break SMU faces UTSA at home on December 28. The next day Wake faces Maryland Eastern shore back home in Winston-Salem.

Box score


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