Lady Tigers Upend Defending C-USA Champs, 69-50
Jan. 12, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - The University of Memphis Lady Tigers shot 44 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free-throw line, and their defense forced 20 East Carolina turnovers en route a 69-50 Conference USA win Saturday afternoon.
"It was a good team effort for us," Head Coach Blair Savage-Lansden said. "We got everyone involved and took advantage of our opportunities when they came up. I think we did a good job of getting back on defense against a team that is very good in transition, and then we had players step up. Savannah Ellis did a good job of stepping in and playing defense on Cochran, and we had a balanced offense on our end of the floor, with (Jessica) Hall, (LaToya) Bullard, (Aroha Jennings) and Paris (Leonard) finishing with double-digits."
The Lady Tigers led 34-28 at the half after using a 14-2 run to eliminate a 28-20 ECU lead with 4:37 to play. Paris Leonard capped the run at the buzzer with a three-point field goal off a feed from Ashley Thornton. The Memphis run came after ECU broke the fourth tie of the game at 19-19 with 9:14 remaining. The Pirates used a pair of quick layups in transition to build the 28-20 lead.
Memphis opened the second half in the same way the Lady Tigers opened the game, with Jessica Hall hitting a jumper. Paris Leonard added a three-point field goal and Memphis was on the offensive, up 39-28. ECU cut the deficit to single digits two times in the next two minutes, then Memphis opened up the game, using a 25-10 run to open the lead up to 24 at 68-44 with 2:26 to play.
Hall led all players with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Her five three-point field goals made tied for fifth in the single-game record book, and Memphis hit eight shots from beyond the arc, tying a previous season-high. Latoya Bullard and Aroha Jennings each added 14 points, while Paris Leonard scored 11 points, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Bullard led the team with six rebounds, eight assists and four steals in a near-40 minutes of play.
Allison Spivey was the lone Pirate to score double-digits, finishing with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Nicole Days led the team with six rebounds, while LaCoya Terry handed out seven assists.
Memphis will continue the 2007-08 Conference USA season on the road at pre-season favorite Tulane, Friday, at 7 p.m. That game can be heard on WUMR, 91.7 FM with Jeff Brightwell on the play-by-play. All-Access subscribers on www.gotigersgo.com can also view streaming video of that game as part of their All-Access package.