Memphis Downs Saint Louis
March 2, 2001
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Shannon Hamp was surprised by how many shots she took.
The Memphis center made the most of her opportunity, going 10-of-13 in leading the Tigers to a hard-earned 66-52 victory over Saint Louis in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament on Friday night.
"I don't usually get that many shots," Hamp said, "so I guess that was one of my best games."
Memphis coach Joye Lee-McNelis was glad to see that. "She was hungrier than she's been," she said. "I thought she did the best she's done in a long time."
Her scoring and seven rebounds helped put sixth-seeded Memphis (17-11) into Saturday's quarterfinals against third-seeded Houston (18-11). Houston had a bye Friday.
Patrice Boyd added 11 points and Malissa Bush 10 for Memphis, which shot 53 percent (27-of-51) from the field.
Christian Shelton scored a career-high 23 points and Star Jackson added 10 for Saint Louis (14-14).
It was bittersweet for Shelton. "I'd much rather have won," she said. "Everything came hard and the offense just wasn't there tonight."
The Tigers scored the first four points of the second half to lead 37-25. The lead grew to 15 points before Holloway scored two straight baskets to make it 55-46 with 6:14 to play. Memphis responded with three free throws before the Billikens closed made it 58-50 with 2:55 left on back-to-back baskets by Shelton and Angie Lewis.
Tiffany Collins took an inbounds pass for a layup and then passed to Hamp for a layup on the next possession to end any comeback hopes of Saint Louis.
Saint Louis hit only 38 percent (20-53) despite getting a lot of close-range shots.
"It wasn't that we didn't get the ball inside, "Saint Louis coach Jill
Pizotti said. "We certainly had opportunities from 4 to 5 feet, which would
have kept us in the game.
"They did a good job getting the ball inside, and we had too many turnovers (23)."
Memphis coach Joye Lee-McNelis was as much relieved as she was excited about advancing into the second round.
"Thank goodness we got a win," she said. "It wasn't pretty, but we'll take it. It was a hard-fought game."