Memphis Toughs out an 87-75 Win at East Carolina
Jan. 9, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Memphis (13-3, 2-0 C-USA) scored 16 of its final 22 points from the free-throw line and had five players in double-digits in an 87-75 win at East Carolina (6-9, 0-2 C-USA), Sunday. Ramses Lonlack led Memphis with a career-best 21 points. Jasmine Lee added 17 points and nine rebounds, while Brittany Carter added 15 points and seven rebounds. Nicole Dickson also added 15 points off the bench, while Alex Winchell scored 11 points.
Memphis led at the half after East Carolina overcame a cold shooting start to the game, hitting just one of their first nine shots after adjusting their starting line-up to include Ashley Clarke and Jean Best. It was Best's first start of the season, and Clarke's first start since ECU's last home game on Dec. 8th.
Alex Winchell drilled a three to start the game and ECU kept working the ball inside, but was missing some little jumpers in the paint early, allowing Memphis to squeak out to a 17-10 lead. But the Tigers couldn't pull the game any further away before Memphis fouls began to add up. Brittany Carter, Jasmine Lee and Savannah Ellis all picked up two first half fouls and had to go to the bench. The loss of Ellis' presence inside allowed ECU to drive at the rim in the final 2:30 of the first half, driving and kicking the ball out to three-point shooters, allowing Kelly Smith and Kim Gay to each hit emotional threes that woke up the ECU crowd. Memphis, meanwhile, was getting bogged down in its offensive end, with the shot clock running down under 10 seconds on three consecutive trips. Nicole Dickson bailed the Tigers out on two of those trips, hitting a pair of threes, including one from well behind the men's three-point line with the shot clock at two. ECU kept driving the rim, but the Tigers hit the dressing room up at the half, 35-28, with the three-point line the difference after Memphis hit 6-for-10. ECU actually had a higher shooting percentage in the first half, 40.7 percent to 38.7 percent.
Memphis opened the second half trying to work inside, and after ECU cut the lead to four at 40-36 with 17:13 to play, the Tigers answered back with a three-point field goal from Carter. Carter would knock down back-to-back threes to push the lead to double-digits at 57-45 with 12:50 to play, but the game then got physical. The contact in the game fired up the Pirates' crowd and after Ramses Lonlack hit a pair of free-throws to push the lead to 68-54 with 7:45 to play Crystal Wilson scored 10 of ECU's next 12 points to keep chipping at the Memphis lead. ECU trimmed the lead all the way to four at 74-70, but Jasmine Lee set a screen in the lane for Nicole Dickson, who drove and hit a layup, then returned the favor by feeding Lee for a layup of her own to push the score back to 78-70. The Tigers hit their free-throws down the stretch, to put their 10th straight victory in the books and to improve to 2-0 in Conference USA play.
Memphis returns home to host UTEP, Thursday, in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, at 7 p.m.