Lady Tigers To Face Louisville on Friday at 8 p.m.
March 4, 2004
Fort Worth, Texas - From C-USA Reports...
As has been the case for much of this season, the Memphis Tigers used balanced scoring and a solid team effort to defeat UAB, 64-54, in the final game of the opening day of the Conference USA Women's Basketball Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas. The sixth-seeded Tigers advance to face Louisville, winners of nine straight, in the late game of tomorrow night's quarterfinals.
Jennifer Sullivan topped three Memphis players in double figures with 12 points. Tamika Butler and Victoria Crawford each had 11 points, while Princess Swilley scored all nine of her points in the first half.
Memphis (20-8) carried a 32-24 halftime to the locker room at halftime, but opened the second half on an 8-2 run to extend its lead to 40-26 and UAB would not draw closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
The Tigers were aided in the game by a strong defensive effort that saw them force 25 UAB turnovers and block six shots. Raven Rogers registered a season-high five of those blocks.
Playing her final collegiate game, Natasha Thomas led the Blazers in scoring with 15 points and in rebounding with six. Carmen Guzman added 13 points for UAB, which closes out its season at 9-19.
In their only previous meeting with Louisville this season, Memphis dropped a 66-65 decision to the Cardinals at Freedom Hall in Louisville back on Jan. 18. This will be the first tournament meeting between the two schools since the Tigers won championship game of the 1998 tournament at the Louisville Gardens, 79-75.
The victory gives Memphis 20 wins for the first time since the 1998-99 season....The victory also allows the Tigers to advance to the quarterfinal round of the Conference USA Tournament for the first time since 2001....With her first rebound tonight, Natasha Thomas became the third player in UAB history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds....With Memphis reaching the 20-win mark tonight and Marquette getting there earlier in the day, a record-tying five Conference USA schools have now won 20 or more games. Five C-USA teams reached the 20-win plateau in 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99.
MEM Leading Scorer: Jennifer Sullivan, 12 UAB Leading Scorer: Natasha Thomas, 15
Score by Half Team 1st 2nd Total Memphis 32 32 64 UAB 24 30 54