Cold Second Half Shooting Kills Tiger Halftime Lead, 72-57
Jan. 24, 2009
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - -
A University of Memphis offense that hit over 50 percent of their shots in the opening half could not find the bucket in the second half, falling 72-57 on the road at Marshall (12-7, 5-1 C-USA) Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers exploded out of the gates, with Paris Leonard rattling off 12 straight points in the opening 4:16 of the game to take a 12-4 lead in to the first media timeout. The Tigers then spread out the offense, with Ramses Lonlack getting out in transition for three first half baskets, while Savannah Ellis and Shae Seagraves each hit a field goal in first 10 minutes of the opening half. But Marshall went to work in the paint, with Chantelle Handy driving the lane and beating her Tiger defender for back-to-back field goals. The Thundering Herd kept moving and finding openings in the Tiger defense, drawing fouls or sticking back offensive rebounds to cut in to the Memphis lead. But the Tigers, who shot 51.9 percent in the opening half, took a 35-28 lead in to the locker room.
Marshall had obviously made a point in the locker room that they wanted to get the ball inside, as the Thundering Herd opened with three straight offensive possessions to 6-1 post Tynikki Crook, who hit two straight field goals and the and-one to pull to 37-33 down with 18:20 to play. But Memphis responded with an 8-0 run to push the lead back to double-digits. But Marshall had found what they wanted to pick on, feeding Crook in the paint, where Savannah Ellis picked up her fourth personal foul with 12:44 to play. With Ellis on the bench, Marshall kept working away on sophomore Shekeira Copeland, with Crook hitting another layup in the lane to pull Marshall to 48-45 down with 11:46 to play.
But Memphis responded with turnovers on four of its next five trips, and when Casey Baker drove the paint and hit the runner, the Thundering Herd had pulled to just one down at 50-49 with the Tiger offense stalled with just two field goals in over seven minutes following the 15 minute mark of the game.
A Chantelle Handy layup at 7:48 gave the Thundering Herd their first lead of the game, and Marshall used a 13-0 run to build a nine-point lead, 62-53 with 3:40 to play as Memphis had managed just six second half field goals in the first 16 minutes of the half. From there, Marshall closed the game on a 23-7 run to close out the 72-57 victory.
Paris Leonard led Memphis with 20 points, but 13 of those came in the opening minutes of the game. Ashley Thornton added 10 points, but Memphis was out-rebounded 40-35 and shot just 20.7 percent in the second half.
Tynikki Crook led Marshall with 19 points, 11 of them in the second half, adding a 9-for-9 stint fro the free-throw line. Chantelle Handy and Alyssa Hammond each added 16 points, while Casey Baker added 11, despite missing a bulk of the first half due to foul trouble.
Memphis will return home for a two-game home stand. The Tigers will host UTEP, Thursday, at FedExForum, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Tigers will wrap up the two-game stint with a game in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Saturday against Tulane. That game will tip at 3:00 p.m. Tickets for both games can be purchased online at www.gotigersgo.com under tickets.