Houston Edges Memphis 58-55 In C-USA Women's Basketball Opener
Jan. 9, 2004
Memphis, Tenn.-- - Houston erased a 15-point halftime deficit to escape with a 58-55 victory over Memphis in both teams' Conference USA women's basketball opener at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Friday. Houston (11-2, 1-0 C-USA) forward Amanda Barksdale's sixth block of the game was her most crucial as she deflected Victoria Crawford's three-point attempt at the buzzer that would have tied the game for the Lady Tigers (10-4, 0-1 C-USA).
Crawford led all scorers with 25 points in the contest as she was the only Memphis player to reach double digits. Barksdale was a strong presence in the middle for the visitors as she finished with a game-high 14 rebounds and added eight points as the Cougars held a 49-36 edge on the boards.
The Lady Tigers took advantage of a frustrated Houston team in the first half converting 12 turnovers into 16 points to take a 30-15 lead at the break. Memphis closed the half on a 19-3 run after Houston held a brief 12-11 lead with 9:32 remaining. The Lady Tigers held the Cougars to just one field goal during that stretch as the visitors made just 6-of-32 attempts from the floor in the opening half.
The Cougars, who were whistled for two technical fouls in the first half, settled down after halftime erasing their 15-point deficit with a 19-4 run capped off by a Joanna Overstreet free throw at the 11:32 mark. All-league performer Chandi Jones led the second-half surge for Houston scoring 11 of her 13 points after the break.
Crawford would not let the Lady Tigers fade away as she scored 13 second-half points. The lead changed seven times following the Houston run before Barksdale gave the Lady Cougars the lead for good at 49-47 with 4:32 remaining. Poor free throw shooting by the visitors kept Memphis in the game as Houston made just 4-of-12 attempts in the final 1:08.
Freshman guard Devin Necaise hit her first shot of the game sinking a three with 18 seconds to play to put Memphis within two at 57-55, but Barksdale came up with the big block on Crawford's three attempt at the buzzer after Overstreet hit just one of two free throws.
Houston center Sancho Lyttle led the Cougars in scoring with 14 points as she posted a double-double adding 11 rebounds. The Lady Tigers shot 30 percent from the floor for the game hitting 9-of-30 shots in both halves.
Memphis returns to action Sunday at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse hosting 19th-ranked TCU at 3 p.m. The Horned Frogs defeated Saint Louis in their C-USA opener 69-66 to improve to 12-2 on the season.