Lady Tigers Fall in Overtime for Second Straight Game
Jan. 4, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - For the first time in school history, the Lady Tiger basketball team was forced to overtime in back-to-back games. And for the second time in as many tries, Memphis (3-10) fell short in the extra session, falling 71-68 to Toledo (7-5) at FedExForum Friday night.
Memphis led by as many as 14 points in the second half, having stretched a 12-point half time lead to a 47-32 lead when Amber Heistan came off the bench to hit three-point field goals on three straight possessions to quickly whittle the Memphis lead to single digits at 49-41.
"We knew going in to the game that half the shots she has taken are threes," Head Coach Blair Savage-Lansden said. "We did a good job of defending that in the first half and then had a mental lapse in the second half where we apparently forgot she was a three-point shooter."
Those were the only field goals of the night for Heistan, but it was enough, as her teammates then forced a Memphis team that had just five first half turnovers in to 10 turnovers in in the second half. And when teammate Nacole Stocks converted Memphis turnovers in to layups on the other end on back-to-back trips, the Lady Tiger lead got cut to one at 53-52 with 5:25 to play. Stocks was whistled for the technical foul on the ensuing trip down the floor, but Jessica Hall missed both free-throws, missing an opportunity to turn the tide Memphis' way. Latoya Bullard stepped to the line and hit both free-throws, but Memphis held just a three-point lead, 55-52, with 5:18 to play when Toledo got the ball back. And Allie Clifton immediately drilled a three from the top of the key to tie the game at 55-55. Heiston then forced Ashley Thornton in to a turnover and fed a cutting Olivia Terry for a lay-up and Toledo's first lead of the game, 57-55, with 3:49 to play. On the other end, Thornton corralled an offensive rebound off a Bullard miss and was fouled on the rebound. She stepped to the line to hit one of two free-throws to cut the deficit to one, at 57-56 in Toledo's favor with 3:34 to play.
Paris Leonard then stole a ball and went coast-to-coast for a lay-up, then stuck back a jumper off a Bullard offensive board to put Memphis up 60-57 with 1:38 to play. Toledo called a time-out and went back to the perimeter, where Allie Clifton knocked down one of her three treys on the night to knot the game at 60-60 with 1:08 to play. Memphis called a timeout and got a play set, but a Latoya Bullard drive drive fell short with four seconds to play. Jessica Jackson grabbed the offensive rebound, but was unable to stick back the miss, forcing the Lady Tigers in to their second overtime session in as many games.
In overtime, Memphis looked inside to Jessica Jackson, who already had her second straight double-double in the books for a quick 62-60 lead. But Clifton again sprinted out for a lay-up behind the Memphis defense to knot the game, and when Lisa Johnson and Olivia Terry hit back-to back lay-ups, Toledo led 66-62 with 2:41 left in overtime. Johnson would then hit a three from the top of the key in front of a sinking Jackson to stretch the lead to 69-65 with 2:05 to play to essentially lock up the win. Memphis would get just two free-throws and would be outscored 11-8 in the extra session.
The loss is the third straight for the Lady Tigers heading in to their Conference USA opener at UAB, Sunday. Memphis will look to snap the three-game skid, having not lost more than three games all season.
Jessica Jackson finished with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds, adding five blocked shots, four in the first half, in 31 minutes. Paris Leonard added 16 points and eight rebounds, but shot 7-for-26 from the field, including 2-for-8 from three-point range.
Allie Clifton led all players with 24 points, including three treys, while Lisa Johnson just missed a double-double, finishing with nine points and a game-high 18 rebounds. Teammate Ta'Yani Clark added 10 rebounds, while Olivia Terry scored 13 points, including 2-for-5 from three-point range.
Memphis will open league play at UAB, Sunday, at 2 p.m. That game can be heard in Memphis on WUMR, 91.7 FM with Jeff Brightwell on the play-by-play. Online streaming video can also be seen on www.gotigersgo.com as part of the All-Access package.