Lady Tigers Drop Third Straight League Game
Jan. 7, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The game was knotted at 61 apiece with 8:46 to play following a three-point field goal from Memphis senior Devin Necaise when senior forward Jillian Robbins sparked an 18-1 Tulsa run to power the Golden Hurricane to an 87-71 win in Conference USA play, Sunday. Robbins scored 15 straight points in that run, finishing with a triple double of 33 points, 14 rebounds and 10 steals. Robbins scored 24 of her 33 points in the second half, stepping through and picking off Lady Tiger passes for easy layups on the other end, helping Tulsa shoot 64.3 percent in the second half.
"With a player like (Jillian) Robbins, you have to know that when they are in a fight that she is going to try to step up and take over a game," head coach Blair Savage-Lansden said. "What we needed to do was continue to do what had gotten us to that tie in the first place, and that was defensive rebounding. Our defense needed to generate our offense, not the other way around. When our offense struggled, we let up on the defensive end and we let (Tandem Mays) penetrate right and that got that entire run going for them. That was in our scouting report, we just didn't execute our game plan."
Memphis shook up its starting line-up heading in to the game, giving Jazmyn Green her first career start, while adding fellow freshman Hope Adams back in to the line-up. Green responded with 10 points and eight steals in 24 minutes, leading Memphis with four assists.
"I think we played good basketball, but we just didn't play for 40 minutes," Green said. "We played as a team, we did do that, but we just didn't stick it out at the end, we didn't finish. It was in the scouting report that (Tandem Mays) drives right all the time to generate the offense, we knew that, we just didn't defend it."
The two teams traded leads twice in the opening half, as Teka Brooks scored 14 of her 16 points in the opening 20 minutes, taking advantage of a double-team on Robbins. The extra offense allowed Tulsa to take a 37-30 lead in to the locker room.
After the half, Memphis opened with an 8-3 run, powered by a pair of three point field goals and a steal and a lay-up from Green to force Tulsa to call timeout with 18:06 remaining. Freshman center Robin Jones converted an and-one following a lay-up to pull Memphis within one, and when Jones hit a second lay-up, she had pushed Memphis ahead 43-42 with 16:43 to play. The lead would see-saw back and forth between the teams until the 8:46 mark, when Necaise would hit a three to give Memphis its final tie of the game before the big Robbins-driven run.
"I thought we had the game when they came to the huddle at the (under eight minute media timeout) and they were yelling at one another," Devin Necaise said. "I'm just telling my team to keep it up, they're getting frustrated, but they made a run and some of our team just hung their head and didn't want to fight back."
Necaise would lead Memphis with 18 points, while Aroha Jennings added 12. Ashley Thornton led Memphis with eight rebounds, adding eight points. Robbins led all players with 33 points, while Brooks finished with 16. Valerie Siemens added 11 points and Jamie Dreiling and Tandem Mays each scored 10 in Tulsa's first league win of the season.
Memphis, which went 0-3 in its C-USA opening week, will now hit the road, playing at Southern Miss, Friday, at 7 p.m., before traveling to UCF, Sunday, for a 1 p.m. (ET), game. Tulsa will return home for a four-game home stand, beginning with Tulane, Friday.