Tigers Drop Road Contest at UCF, 83-62
Feb. 10, 2013
ORLANDO - - The University of Memphis women's basketball team (13-10, 4-5 C-USA) fell below .500 in league play for the first time this season in a foul-plagued 83-62 loss at UCF (9-14, 3-6 C-USA), Sunday. Four different Tigers fouled out of the game, as UCF swept the series from Memphis.
"We have to accept responsibility and stop pointing fingers," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "We cannot deflect blame to the officials, they are doing their jobs. We cannot act like our system doesn't work, because I know it does. Their game plan from the jump was to run at us and they were about the fourth team with that game plan on us. We have to step up and make stops and stop pointing fingers."
Like the first meeting, the game started out with UCF exploiting a rebounding advantage and getting out in transition. After the left corner flat resulted in three triples that powered UCF to the first win against Memphis, the Knights went right back to that spot on the floor on Sunday, drilling four first half triples to keep the Tiger defense scrambling.
Memphis was constantly scrambling on defense, trying to get back in transition and close out on shooters, and the disorganization carried over on to the Tigers' offensive end of the floor, where Memphis committed nine first half turnovers that kept the offense off-kilter. Memphis went the final 10 minutes of the half with just one field goal, and that came from freshman forward Asianna Fuqua-Bey, who led Memphis with six first half points.
Fuqua-Bey had a hand in sending a trio of Knights to the bench with foul troubles, but it was Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir's third and fourth foul with 1.5 seconds left in the first half that really summed up the Tigers' game. Abdul-Qaadir stripped a shot out of the hands of Briahanna Jackson, but was whistled for a foul on the three-point attempt. Upset with the call, she bounce passed the ball past the official to the scorer's table and picked up a technical foul, giving Jackson five free-throws at the line. The freshman hit four, sending UCF into the locker room 36-21 at the break.
The Tigers cut the deficit to just eight at 46-38 in the second half, but could not stop the foulfest, but a 6-1 spurt from the Knights stretched the lead back to double-digits at 52-39 with 9:54 to play and the Tigers could never get closer. The fouls racked up both ways as both teams used full court presses and traps to try to force turnovers and easy points, and UCF knocked down 33-of-46 attempts from the stripe, securing the 83-62 win behind 29 points and 11 rebounds from freshman guard Briahanna Jackson and 23 points from senior guard Gevenia Carter.
Nicole Dickson and Ariel Hearn both had slow starts to the game, each shooting 1-for-10 from the floor in the opening half. Dickson finished with a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Fuqua-Bey and Hearn each finished with 11 points.
Memphis returns home to host a pair of conference contests this week, hosting UAB, Thursday, and SMU, who is 8-0 in league heading into Sunday's games, on Sunday, Feb. 17th. The Sunday game will be Memphis' Play 4Kay game, where all fans wearing pink will receive free admission.