Rice Hands Memphis 72-56 Loss at Home
Feb. 26, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A pair of 13-0 runs and 10 team blocks helped Rice hand Memphis a 72-56 loss to end the regular season in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, Sunday. The win gives Rice the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye for the upcoming C-USA Championships in Dallas, while the loss means that Memphis will face No. 5 seed Marshall in the opening round of the league championships, Thursday, at 3:30 p.m.
The two teams both struggled in scoring early in the game, as neither team scored in the first three minutes. The two foes would then play through three ties before Rice eventually pulled away to a 27-12 lead at the 6:07 mark in the opening half.
A Devin Necaise jumper and a pair of free-throws pulled Memphis to 11 back at 27-16, but Rice closed out the half on a 13-0 run, heading into the locker room up 40-18.
In the second half, Rice continued to work inside, extending its lead to 57-31 at the 10:54 mark. But back-to-back buckets from seniors Jamie Bradley and Tamika Butler on senior day started an 8-2 Memphis run that cut the lead to 59-38. The two teams then traded buckets for four possessions before a three and a field goal from Necaise started an 8-0 Memphis run that cut the deficit to 66-52 with 5:44 to play.
But again, the Lady Tigers' seven man rotation ran out of energy for the bigger Owl team, as Rice pulled away to the final 72-56 score.
Butler and junior Ashley Howard each finished with 15 points, with Howard tallying her fourth double-double of the season with 13 rebounds. Necaise finished with 13 points as all seven Lady Tigers who played scored and rebounded for a third straight game.
Valeriya Berezhynska led Rice with 15 points, while Lauren Neaves added 12 points and 14 rebounds. Amber Cunningham and Samantha Stovall rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points and 10, respectively.
With the No. 2 seed for the tournament, Rice will receive a first-round bye and will play the winner of the Houston/UTEP game, Friday, at 6 p.m. Memphis will receive the tournament's No. 12 seed and will face No. 5 seed Marshall, Thursday, at 3:30 p.m.