Tigers Fend Off Owls 64-60
Nicole Dickson notched her second-straight double-double as the Tigers picked up their fourth win in league play.MEMPHIS, Tenn.- The University of Memphis (13-8, C-USA 4-3) downed Rice (9-11, 1-6 C-USA), 64-60, at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, Thursday.
In the first half, the Owls struck first on a jumper by Jessica Kuster to put Rice up 2-0. Memphis answered seconds later on a steal and layup by Dickson. Rice promptly responded with a jumper by Megan Palmer to give the Owls a two-point advantage.
Following a foul by Rice's Jessica Goswitz, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir sank two free throws to knot the game at four-all. The game stayed deadlocked for the next four minutes, until Memphis's Ariel Hearn nailed a jumper to give the Tigers a two-point lead. Abdul-Qaadir followed Hearn with a lay-up to extending the Memphis lead 8-4.
Later with the Tigers leading 12-8, Memphis embarked on a 6-0 scoring run sparked by a Hearn jumper. Jaymie Jackson and Pa'Sonna Hope each tacked on two more points to give the Tigers an eight point advantage.
Memphis put together a second 6-0 run with 8:54 left to play in the half. Dickson sank a lay-up and picked up the and-one to give the Tigers a 21-13 lead. Seconds later, Hearn sank one of two from the charity stripe, with Jackson laying one in to cap off the run.
Memphis led the Owls by as much as 15 in the first 20-minutes racking-up 24-points in the paint. Hearn led the Tigers with 12 points in the first half, with Dickson hauling in eight rebounds.
Memphis started the second-half with an 8-3 run as Dickson and Hearn scoring six unanswered points in the first two minutes of play. Dickson sank a jumper followed by a lay-up to give the Tigers a 37-25 lead.
Hearn kept the train rolling with a steal a jumper extending the lead to 14. Following a trey by Rice's Goswitz, Jackson sank two from the foul line to keep Memphis out front 41-28.
Though the Tigers had led since the first half, the Owls continued to battle, whittling the Memphis lead to three points, 56-53, after a trey from Breion Allen with 6:52 left to play. Dickson responded with a jumper for Memphis to keep the Tigers up by five.
Rice once again cut the lead to three, this time with a three-pointer by Christal Porter. Dickson responded again, extending the Memphis lead to five with a jumper 60-55. Jackson added two more points sinking two foul shots to keep the Tigers ahead by seven.
The Owls then cut the lead to five on two foul shots by Kuster. Rice then covered up Abdul-Qaadir and Hearn on the Tigers' inbounds, and got the ball in the hands of freshman forward Asianna Fuqua-Bey. Clinging to the lead with under a minute to play, Fuqua-Bey sank one of two from the charity stripe. Dickson then followed suit, sinking one of two at the line to keep the Tigers up 64-57. The Owls then added three more on a trey by Kuster, before falling to the Tigers 64-60.
Dickson led the Tigers with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Dickson's back-to-back double-double games are her first since last season when she set a school record with seven straight. Hearn led Memphis with two assists and a career-high four steals.
Kuster led the Owls with 22 points and three blocks. Porter led Rice with eight rebounds, as Maduka led the Owls with eight assists. Kuster and Maduka each notched two steals to lead Rice.
The Tigers return to action, Sunday, hitting the road to take on Marshall at 2 p.m. (ET). For more information on the University of Memphis women's basketball program and all Tigers athletics, please visit GoTigerGo.com.