Lady Tigers Fall Short of Comeback
Feb. 5, 2005
Ft. Worth, Texas -- - The Lady Tiger basketball team (10-12, 3-6 C-USA) rallied back from 16 down to tangle with TCU (16-6, 7-1 C-USA) in C-USA action, Saturday, coming up short in the final minutes.
Using some timely three-point shooting, the Lady Tigers made the Lady Frogs faithful uncomfortable and mostly quiet as Memphis led 12-6 at the 13:30 mark after going on an 8-0 run to come back from 6-2 down. Senior Raven Rogers hit Memphis' first three of the game to get the run started, the first of eight threes the Lady Tigers would hit for the game.
But TCU answered back with Vanessa Clemtino, who scored seven straight TCU points to keep the Lady Frogs just ahead of the Lady Tigers on the scoreboard, as Memphis tried to claw back from a deficit that was never more than six in the first half. But with Clementino's 11 first half points, TCU took a 30-26 lead into the lockerroom.
In the beginning of the second half, the Lady Frogs would outscore Memphis 10-4 in the first five minutes, and the lead would three times hit 16 points before another Rogers three started an 8-0 Memphis run. Victoria Crawford would steals a ball from Sandora Irvin and lay it in to cut the lead to single digits, forcing TCU coach Jeff Mittie to call a timeout up 60-52 with 6:28 remaining in the game. From the 6:28 mark to the 1 minute mark in the game, the Lady Tigers grit had Mittie call all three of his remaining 30 second timeouts plus his full timeout.
"You have to commend (their) effort. We cut it back to eight a couple of times, but we have to be cdonfident in our offense," Head Coach Blair Savage said. "When someone penetrates, we thought we had broke the habit of watching someone penetrate, but tonight we watched again instead of going to drift or loop. We keep saying the same thing in the lockerroom after the game, and it's not just one person that kills us, it's someone different every night."
But Memphis was not able to capitalize on the sudden pressure on TCU as Memphis committed three turnovers in one minute, allowing TCU to spread the lead out to 11 after a three from Ashley Davis at 3:18 to go, 68-57. Memphis tried to battle back and three more times cut the lead to single digits, but each time committed turnovers on the offensive end to foil the changes of a comeback.
`At different points in times, we had some crazy turnovers,'" Savage said. "We fixed that last game, and now we're on the road and we commit a bunch of turnovers again. We dug our hole way too early, we just didn't get it done."
Crawford led Memphis with 20 points, while Rogers added 18, shooting 4-for-5 from three-point range. Crawford was 2-for-4 from three-point range, while Tamika Butler and Devin Necaise each hit a three, getting the Lady Tigers' outside game on track. Irvin led TCU with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Clementino added 17 points and five rebounds. Ashley Dixon finished with 11 in TCU's 16th win of the season. In the game, Irvin became the NCAA's all-time leading shot blocker with her 434th career block. She finished with eight for the game.
Memphis continues its two-game road swing at Houston, Monday night at 7 p.m. That game can be heard on WUMR with pre-game beginning at 6:45 p.m. The Lady Tigers will return home Feb. 13th for the first of two meetings with Saint Louis, Feb. 13th.