Memphis Can't Quell Rice's Hot-Shooting, Fall To Owls, 71-58.
Feb. 13, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The visiting Rice Owls heated up at the right time and put away Memphis, 71-58, Sunday afternoon, in the Tigers' first game inside the Elma Roane Fieldhouse since Jan. 20.
The loss slides Memphis (18-7, 7-4 C-USA) back in the pack in Conference USA's standings, putting them into a tie with Rice (15-10, 7-4) and UCF for second behind conference-leading Houston.
The Tigers started strong, jumping out to a 10-2 lead behind a three from senior Alex Winchell and three points from junior Brittany Carter. Carter, who entered the game needing 15 points for 1,000 in her Tiger career, finished with 11.
Memphis got a strong first half out of junior post player Jasmine Lee, who pulled off a double-double in the first half (15 points, 10 rebounds) and altered a number of Rice shots due to her defensive presence in the lane. Rice would get a boost from Morgan Mayse, who scored 10 of her 15 points in the game's opening 20 minutes.
Memphis stepped up its defense late in the first, holding Rice scoreless over the final 4:50 of the opening half, to take a 31-28 lead into the break. Rice's scoring woes continued into the second half, held without a point until the 17:20 mark. Unfortunately, Memphis couldn't capitalize, earning just a Winchell three-pointer in that time.
Memphis' six-point lead would be its largest of the second half, and Rice slowly began to whittle the lead down, trading possessions with the Tigers for much of the second half. A Jessica Kuster jumper with 9:14 left in the half gave the Owls their first lead of the second half.
The contest was within three, 50-47, with eight minutes to go, before Rice's offense kicked alive. A Jessica Goswitz three sparked the Owl offense, which outscored Memphis 21-11 over the final eight minutes and putting the game out of reach.
Rice salted the game away with three consecutive possessions ending in made three-pointers by Mayse, Megan Elliott and Brianna Hypolite. Five different Owls connected on three-point field goals in the win. Lee finished the game with 19 points and 13 rebounds for her season's seventh double-double. Aside from Carter's 11 points, no other Tiger was in double figures; it marked the first time since Jan. 27 fewer than three Tigers scored in double-digits.
Memphis will regroup and head south for two road games this week, beginning Thursday at Southern Miss before venturing west, Sunday, for a televised contest against Tulane.
Memphis falls to 8-2 in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse this season, with both losses coming to Conference USA foes.
Memphis turned the ball over a mere 15 times, fewest since a season-low 11 turnovers, Jan. 6, against Marshall.