UCF Uses Inside Job to Hand Tigers Second Straight League Loss
Jan. 8, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - -
The University of Memphis women's basketball team (7-8, 0-2 C-USA) was out-rebounded 45-34 and gave up 46 points in the paint in an 85-67 loss to UCF in Conference USA play Thursday night.
"In the first half, we were trying to play a little bit of a zone defense," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "We are a little bit down in our numbers. We have some kids that are suffering from illness and we just felt like we needed to save a little bit of energy. Our zone team defense, we don't play it a lot and we are probably not as good at it as we need to be, and we don't really rebound very well out of it. We felt like we really got killed on the offensive boards in our zone defense. We were forced to come out of that."
By the time the Tigers came out of the zone defense, they had been out-rebounded 25-18 in the opening half and had allowed UCF to shoot 42.9 percent from the floor and to coral 11 offensive rebounds.
While Memphis was struggling to close down the inside, sophomore forward Emma Cannon was causing a lot of problems for the Tigers posts down low, tallying a double-double in the first half alone, heading in to the locker room with 16 points and 11 rebounds and a 40-29 UCF advantage.
The Tigers came out of the locker room and Ashley Thornton hit a three to cut the deficit to single digits at 40-32, but Chelsie Wiley went right down to the other end of the floor and had an answer from three-point range. Paris Leonard answered Wiley's three with a triple of her own, but UCF went on a 12-3 run that pushed the Knights lead to 18 at 56-38.
The Knights were trying to push the lead to 20, when the Tigers started pressuring the ball full court and forced four UCF turnovers in four minutes. Paris Leonard scored seven straight points and Tehani Goldsmith knocked down a three to cut the deficit to 10 at 71-61 with 4:46 to play, but as in the opening minutes of the second half, UCF had a quick answer as Angelica Mealing converted her own three on the other end to keep the lead from dipping in to single digits.
From there, Memphis managed just two field goals in the final 4:46 of the game, as UCF used easy points in the paint to pull away to the final 85-67 tally.
Emma Cannon led all players with 34 points and 20 rebounds, adding a blocked shot and a 10-for-13 stint from the free-throw line in 37 minutes. Aisha Patrick added 15 points and seven rebounds, while Angelica Mealing and Chelsie Wiley rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Memphis was led by a 16-point night from Tehani Goldsmith. Paris Leonard added 15 points and Ashley Thornton scored 14 points with nine rebounds in the loss. Shae Seagraves added a career-best seven points off the bench, as freshman guard Ramses Lonlack picked up three first half fouls and then picked up her fourth personal foul at the 16:01 mark in the second half to force Memphis' best defensive player to the bench. Lonlack finished with just five points and four rebounds before fouling out of the game.
The Tigers will wrap up the three-game home swing Saturday afternoon against Southern Miss. That game will tip at 2 p.m.