Lady Tigers Cannot Stop Hot-Shooting SMU
Jan. 5, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Lady Tiger basketball team (3-13, 0-2) had more effort, but could not slow down an SMU (11-4, 2-0) team that shot 40.3 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point range in a 97-65 loss, Friday night.
"We played hard, we played harder than we did Tuesday night, but now we've got to cut out the mental lapses," head coach Blair Savage said. "We have to play defense before they catch the ball, we let them catch it. But we played hard, you've got to give our kids credit, we played a lot harder but we've got to cut out the mental lapses."
Memphis again opened the game with a lead as Alysse Davis hit a three to open the game. Devin Necaise followed with a jumper, giving the Lady Tigers a 5-0 lead early in the game. But a 17-3 SMU run followed, marking the second time in as many conference games that the young Lady Tigers have had an early run negated by a big first half run.
"We played harder in spurts, but now we have to focus on playing harder for longer periods of time," junior forward Aroha Jennings said. "We have to play an entire 40 minutes."
Unlike the game against UAB, the Lady Tigers did manage to dig deep and start coming back from the run in the first half. Down 17-8, Paris Leonard hit five unanswered points, including a three with 9:37 to play, to cut the deficit to 17-13. The game would hoover in the single digits, but Memphis was not able to come any closer before SMU hit seven points from the free-throw line, stretching the halftime Mustang lead to 41-27. SMU had also converted 12 first half Lady Tiger turnovers to 12 points, spreading the ball around for seven assists on 13 field goals in the opening 20 minutes.
The second half featured 12 more Lady Tiger turnovers, which kept Memphis from ever cutting the lead to single digits again as SMU scored 34 of their 97 points in the game off turnovers.
Aroha Jennings led Memphis with 12 points, while Paris Leonard and Jazmyn Green added 10 points apiece. Leonard scored all 10 of her points in the opening half, while Green's 10 points was a career-high.
Brittany Gilliam led all players with 18 points and was one of five Mustangs to score double-digits. Sharee Shepherd added 15 points, while Delisha Wills added 14 points. Memphis' Ashley Thornton led all players with nine rebounds.
Memphis will wrap up its three-game home stand Sunday, against Tulsa, beginning at 2 p.m. That game can be heard on WUMR, 91.7 FM.