Bench Backstops Tigers to 78-58 Victory
Jan. 30, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - By: Colby Wilson, Intern
The Memphis women's basketball team (16-6, 4-3 C-USA) turned to its bench for production, Sunday, against Southern Miss (9-12, 4-4 C-USA) and were rewarded with a 78-58 victory over the Golden Eagles. The win was Memphis' fourth in a row against Southern Miss, dating back to Jan. 2009.
Memphis started the game on a tear, and had already doubled up the Golden Eagles in scoring (20-10) with 10:42 left in the first half. Sophomore Nicole Dickson was electric in the first half, coming off the bench for 13 points, including three three-point baskets. Her eight-point spurt as soon as she entered pushed a tie game to an eight-point Tiger advantage, and Memphis never looked back, holding a 42-26 advantage at the half.
Memphis dominated the first half in almost every statistical category, forcing 14 while giving the ball away just eight times. The Tigers turned those Southern Miss turnovers into 15 points, on the way to 23 points off turnover in the contest.
Senior point guard Alex Winchell had an exceptional first half, tying a career-high with eight assists and only two turnovers.
This Pink Zone contest (all fans wearing pink got in free for breast cancer awareness and breast cancer survivors were honored at halftime) was never in doubt following halftime, with Memphis quickly increasing the lead to 22 points (50-28) following a jumper from junior Brittany Carter, who finished with six points on a season-worst 3-for-12 shooting and ended her streak of four games in a row in double figures.
Memphis never allowed Southern Miss to get closer than 11 points behind in the second half. A 10-2 Southern Miss run from 10:16 until 7:04 would dent the Tiger defense, but Memphis proved too strong for the Golden Eagles and their paltry three-point shooting (2-for-12 in the game, 41-for-195 on the season) late.
Memphis' defense deserved just as much credit for the victory as its offensive prowess, harassing Southern Miss en route to forcing 24 turnovers; the Tigers are forcing an average of 24.8 turnovers per game in their last four contests.
Winchell had a superb all-around performance for Memphis, posting a career-high 14 assists to just four turnovers. The Atlanta, Ga., native posted the Tigers first 10 or more assist performance since LaToya Bullard, Feb. 12, 2010 against Southern Miss.
Winchell wasn't the only Tiger with a phenomenal performance. Junior Jasmine Lee came off the bench for her season's sixth double-double, a workmanlike 14-point, 10-rebound effort. She was also 7-for-13 from the field and is shooting 65.8 percent (25-for-38) from the field in her last three games.
Dickson sparkled off the bench, the super-sub coming through yet again for Memphis with a game-high 20 points, including four three's. Ramses Lonlack was the most dominant starter on the offensive end, finishing with 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting.
Memphis will enjoy the victory, which puts them into a tie with Rice for third in the conference at 5-3, before hitting the road again for a Thursday, 7 p.m., tilt at Tulsa. Memphis will return to the friendly confines of the FedExForum, where they have defeated their last two conference foes, next Sunday when they square off with East Carolina at 1:30 p.m.