Women's Basketball Downs Defending C-USA Champs, 49-47, on the Road
Jan. 15, 2010
ORLANDO, Fla. - - The only thing pretty about the game was the final score for the Tigers, but Memphis (9-7, 2-1 C-USA) handed UCF (3-9, 0-3 C-USA) its first Conference USA home loss since the 2007-08 season, with a 49-47 victory in Orlando, Friday night.
"An ugly win is one we'll still take," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "We did this with our defense, and that is going to be a strength of our program. I didn't have to say it in the timeouts, our players were saying it in there, we were going to win this game."
UCF, playing in their first league home game of the season, showed last season's championship game highlights in the intro video, and the video got the shooters warmed up for the Knights, as UCF connected on two of five threes in the opening three minutes of the game. The three-point shooting helped UCF push out to a 21-10 lead, with Memphis managing field goals from just Taylor Mumphrey in the first seven minutes of the game.
Mumphrey stayed on a roll, connecting on three straight buckets to power a 14-2 Tiger run that helped Memphis take its first lead since being up 2-0 following a Savannah Ellis layup, pushing Memphis ahead at 24-23 with 4:13 to play in the first half. While Memphis was on its run, UCF went seven minutes without a field goal, until the 1:43 mark remaining in the first half.
With both teams playing zone defense, UCF managed some points in transition and offensive putbacks to use a 5-0 run that pulled the Knights to 29-28 down at the half. Mumphrey scored 12 points in the opening 20 minutes, with LaToya Bullard adding five points and five assists to get Memphis out in transition during the 14-2 Memphis run. UCF offensive rebounds would push the Knights up 26-17 in the rebounding ledger in the first half, with C-USA Pre-Season Player of the Year Emma Cannon grabbing 13 boards in the first half.
The Tiger defense held UCF to another long scoreless drought from the field to open the second half, as the Knights went until the 12:40 mark in the second before putting a point on the board. But even with the long UCF scoring drought, Memphis could not pull away in the game, as a series of loose balls kept either team from getting out in transition or getting quality looks at the basket.
With Memphis up 40-37, Brittany Carter committed a turnover by running out of bounds and then back in and getting the ball on a baseline cut and UCF jumped on the turnover, with Marshay White knocking down her third three of the game to tie the game at 40-40 with 6:32 to play. But Carter, who finished with just seven points, answered with a jumper in the paint that was a preview of what was to come.
But Cannon answered back with a bucket and one to tie the game again at 45-45 with Mumphrey on the bench with her fourth personal foul. The Knights got Memphis late in to its shot clock on successive possessions, forcing a Memphis timeout where McFerrin turned on the half court pressure. Memphis sent two guards to trap the ball handler and when Alex Winchell rolled around the Tiger trap, she picked up the loose ball and drove the court, drawing a foul and hitting both free-throws for a 47-45 Memphis lead.
But Cannon answered back, drawing a foul from Savannah Ellis for 47-47 with 1:48 to play. Following the free throw, Mumphrey got off a contested shot in the paint that Ramses Lonlack tracked down. Lonlack was trapped in the corner and called a timeout. Brittany Carter missed the jumper off the timeout, that was rebounded by Aisha Patrick for UCF. After a UCF timeout, White launched another three for the Knights, but this one was blocked by Mumphrey, who also grabbed the defensive rebound, giving Memphis the ball back with 15 seconds left on the clock.
UCF and Memphis called back-to-back timeouts, and the Tigers got Carter the ball at the top of the key and the sophomore guard sunk the jumper for a 47-45 Tiger lead. UCF got the ball back with six seconds remaining, and White got off a good look at the three, but it rimmed off, preserving a Tiger road win.
Mumphrey finished with her third career double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, adding three blocked shots, including the three point attempt for the win, and two steals. All 10 Tigers who played scored and got a rebound in the win, with Carter adding seven points and two steals.
UCF was led by White's 15 points. Cannon led all players with 20 rebounds, but scored just eight points. UCF out-rebounded Memphis 53-37, but shot 6-for-24 from three point range and 26.5 percent from the field in the loss.
The Tigers will wrap up their first C-USA road swing of the season at Southern Miss, Sunday, at 4 p.m. (CT). That game will be televised live on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) and will air at 7 p.m. (ET) on a tape delay basis on CBS College Sports. This will be the first of back-to-back televised games for the Tigers, as the Saturday, Jan. 23rd game against Rice at FedExForum will also be broadcast live on CSS. The game time for that game has been pushed back to 11 a.m. to accommodate the live broadcast.