Lady Tiger Freshmen Lead Team But Fall Short in C-USA Opener, 65-52
Jan. 6, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Led by a career high 23 points and nine rebounds from guard Reshundra Smiley, Marshall University downed Memphis 65-52 in the Lady Tigers' C-USA opener, Friday, in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Smiley's effort countered the work of a pair of Lady Tiger freshmen, Paris Leonard and Sherika Montgomery, who finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively, in the loss. With the win, Marshall improves to 7-5 and 2-0 in C-USA play while Memphis falls to 2-10 and 0-1 in C-USA.
The rebounding hole early on did the Lady Tigers in as Memphis grabbed just seven rebounds in the first 10 minutes of the game, getting outworked under the boards 15-7 in the first seven minutes.
"The really disappointing thing is the way we lost this game," Head Coach Blair Savage said. "You have to give Marshall credit, they came in and dictated play on both ends tonight on our home court. We cut the lead down to five or six by playing good, fundamental basketball, then we would come down and jack up a quick shot and that's not what we're about."
Memphis trailed by as many as 12 in the opening 20 minutes, 26-14, with 3:14 to play before a 6-0 Memphis run to close out the final three minutes that was powered by a rebound and three free-throws from Montgomery. The freshman would finish with a career-high 11 points, adding five rebounds, including three on the offensive end.
Paris Leonard would drop in the first bucket of the second half to cut the lead to 26-23, but Smiley would respond with seven points in the next four minutes to stretch the Marshall lead back to double-digits at 36-26 with 14:17 to play.
Memphis would again cut the lead off a three-point field goal from Butler, but Marshall again pulled out to double-digits and were up 49-37 with 9:01 remaining before a pair of Leonard free-throws and an Ashley Howard three-point field goal pulled Memphis back to 49-42 at the 6:31 mark. Memphis would not come any closer, as Marshall closed out the game with a 65-52 victory.
Memphis will host East Carolina, Sunday, at 2 p.m. The Pirates went to Birmingham and downed UAB, 59-53, to improve to 1-1 in league play and 9-4 overall.