Lady Tigers Pick up Second C-USA Win of Season
Jan. 16, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis (9-8, 2-2 C-USA) opened the game with a three-point field goal from the top of the key from Tamika Butler and basically never looked back in an 81-50 victory over Southern Miss (6-10, 1-3 C-USA) in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, Sunday.
The Lady Tigers opened with an 11-2 run and held Southern Miss to just four field goals in the first half en route their second straight C-USA win in as many tries. With the win, Memphis improves to 9-1 at home, and will look for the momentum from Sunday's win to carry on the road for the Lady Tigers' next game, at UAB, Friday.
"Everyone was looking forward to this game," Victoria Crawford said. "We knew we'd have a big crowd and all the old players are here and it really was a fun game."
Crawford and Sullivan would answer any questions the team had about facing former Lady Tiger coach Joye Lee-McNelis, now the head coach at her alma mater, Southern Miss, by scoring 11 points apiece in the opening 20 minutes.
"I guess I didn't realize how difficult it would be until game-day," Sullivan said. "We saw her family and seeing all the fans and I was trying my hardest to keep everything the same. Coach Savage did a good job of explaining that to the team and putting emotion on side, out of the picture."
In front of about 1700 fans, the Lady Tigers shot 61.5 percent in the opening half and out-rebounded USM 21-12, which resulted in eight fast break points late in the first half.
"We started rebounding from the jump and we ran," Sullivan said. "Once we get rebounding, we can get our transition game going."
With the game seemingly in hand, the Lady Tigers got everyone involved in the game, with all 12 Lady Tigers rebounding for the first game all season.
"We felt that our transition game, they would have a hard time stopping," Savage said. "We felt like, that's us, that's who we are, that's the strength of our players, so don't go away from what's gotten you here. Our transition game got us going, and before our transition got going, we were rebounding, and rebounding enables us to run."
By the end of the game, Memphis had all but two players score points, led by 18 from Crawford and 13 from Sullivan. Kaneshi Hart and Jamie Bradley each finished with eight, while Jessica Hall added nine points. Latrice Booker led Memphis with six rebounds, while Sullivan and Rogers each finished with five.
USM was led by Emer Foley, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds, including a 6-for-10 stretch from the free-throw line. Deondra Carter and Shannon Stueber each finished with eight points in the loss.
Memphis will hit the road to face UAB, Friday, while Southern Miss returned home to host Marquette, also Friday night. The Lady Tigers will next play at home Jan. 28th, when Louisville come to town. That night will be jersey night where anyone wearing a jersey will receive free admission. The game is set to tip at 7 p.m.