Melissa Abraham Not Slowed By Car Accident
Jan. 13, 2002
MEMPHIS, TENN. - University of Memphis senior center Melissa Abraham recorded her 10th career double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead Memphis to a 65-55 victory over Southern Mississippi here Sunday afternoon at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Memphis improved to 8-8 on the year and 2-1 in Conference USA, while USM dropped to 7-9 overall, 0-3 in C-USA.
Abraham, who was in a serious car accident Thursday evening, was not slowed by her bruised ribs and scored 18 points off an 8-of-15 effort from the field and a 2-of-6 effort from the charity stripe. Abraham totaled five offensive and nine defensive rebounds in 32 minutes on the court. She has recorded a double-double in four of the last seven games, and has hauled in 10 or more boards in seven of the last nine games.
"It's a win, but it was definitely the tale of two halves," said head coach Joye Lee-McNelis. "We came out in the first half with a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm, and our transition game was as good as it could get. Then in the second half, we lost our focus and our intensity and the lead dwindled there at the end."
"I thought Melissa Abraham did a phenominal job today," added McNelis. "This may be one of her best games in a gray uniform. She was very stiff this morning at practice, but when she came out today, she was ready to play and was key to this win."
Junior Shannon Hamp and freshman Raven Rogers both added 11 points, and senior Lauren Jackson chipped in 10 points for the Lady Tigers. Hamp also totaled seven rebounds and a blocked shot, while Rogers added three boards, two assists and a steal in 18 minutes of action. Sophomore Pricess Swilley led the squad in assists with six, and junior Kalara McFadyen led in steals, tying her career high with seven steals.
"If you look at the stat sheet, it looks like Kalara McFadyen didn't do much, but I am going to tell you that defensively she made things happen," said McNelis. "She had 12 deflections in the ball game and she made a lot of things happen and saved the day for us. She helped us get the transition baskets that we needed. In the second half when we tried to give the game away, Kalara did a great job of making the defensive stops that we needed."
The Lady Tigers took 43-20 lead into the lockerroom at the half after shooting 50 percent (17-of-34) from the field, and holding the Lady Eagles to just 26 percent (6-of-23) from the field. The Lady Tigers had also forced USM to turn the ball over 19 times in the half, scoring 19 points off the takeaways. The Lady Eagles chipped away at the Memphis lead, but could only get as close as nine points, 62-53, with just over a minute to play. Southern Miss outscored Memphis, 35-22, in the second half after shooting 35.9 percent (14-of-39) and holding Memphis to 28.6 percent (8-of-28) from the field.
La'Tasha Sumerall led USM in scoring with 18 points off a 7-of-23 effort from the field. She was 1-of-2 from the free-throw line, but managed three treys in her 11 three-point attempts as the only double-digit scorer for USM. Sumerall also totaled six rebounds and four steals before fouling out of the game. Tierra Lassiter led USM in rebounding, hauling in 10 boards, six of which were defensive rebounds. She also totaled six points, two assists and a blocked shot.
The Lady Tigers will continue C-USA action on the road next week, traveling to DePaul and Marquette. Memphis faces DePaul on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., and Marquette at 1 p.m. in Milwaukee on Sunday. The Marquette match-up will be broadcast live by C-USA TV.