Slow Start Costs Lady Tigers
Feb. 3, 2007
GREENVILLE, N.C. - During the first 12 minutes of the Lady Tigers game at East Carolina, Memphis managed just four field goals in a 79-57 loss at East Carolina, Saturday. The loss drops Memphis to 3-21 and 0-10 in league play, while ECU improves to 10-13 and 5-5 in conference play.
"When you have 17 turnovers in the first half, but we only had eight in the second half," head coach Blair Savage said. "Some of those walks (Memphis was whistled for 13) were walks, but some were anticipations, but we have to learn to adjust to how the game is being officiated. Some games will be tighter than others, and especially when you on the road, you have to do that much more and dig that much deeper and we really didn't tonight."
Memphis trailed 38-27 at the half after coming out lethargic to open the game. In the first 12 minutes of the game, Memphis hit just four field goals and was whistled six times for traveling. But after head coach Blair Savage-Lansden used three of her five allotted timeouts through the first 12 minutes of the game, the Lady Tigers finally got fired up, outscoring ECU 13-4 in the final five minutes of the game as Devin Necaise scored seven of her 13 first half points in the last five minutes of the game. First half turnovers were the biggest difference in the halftime stats, as Memphis committed 17 turnovers, but shot 42.3 percent. ECU shot 42.9 percent, but had just 11 turnovers and had a slight rebounding edge 22-16 at the break.
But ECU amped up the scoring inside to open the second half, scoring 52 of their 79 points in the paint, including the first six of the half. Center Cherie Mills finished with 15 points, while Nicole Days scored 10 points. Five different Pirates scored double-digits as a good share of the points in the paint came from ECU's transition game.
"I thought we did a good job on Mills early on, but our weakside rebounding hurt us," Savage said. "We had two people down there and sometimes we just got confused as to who was helping."
Memphis was led by Devin Necaise with 13 points, but Necaise did not hit any points in the second half. Paris Leonard added 12 points and seven rebounds, while Aroha Jennings and Jazmyn Green each added 10 points.
Memphis will return home for one home game before playing three of the last five games on the road. The Lady Tigers will host Tulane, Wednesday, at FedExForum in a game that will tip at 7:05 p.m. That game will be Memphis' National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration, where all Girls Scouts, members of Girls Incorporated and Yo! Memphis, and members of Boys and Girls Clubs will receive free admission. AAU teams and MAM teams wearing their jerseys will also receive free admission. As part of Memphis' second Take a Kid to the Game day, all kids under 17 will receive free admission to the game when accompanied by a paying adult.
Tulane is one of three teams that sits in a tie for first heading in to the remainder of Saturday's games. The Green Wave is 18-4 overall and 7-2 in league play heading in to a road game at Rice Saturday evening.