Cold Shooting First Half Hurts Tigers in 64-53 Loss at UAB
March 4, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - - The UAB Blazers (14-14, 8-8 C-USA) connected on nine three-point field goal attempts and held the University of Memphis without a field goal for over nine minutes in the first half in a 64-53 victory Thursday night.
"I thought UAB had a lot of energy early in the game and they pressured our other guards all over the floor while they were denying Alex (Winchell) the ball. But we're not making any excuses, we're a better team than that, with or without another ball-handler," Melissa McFerrin said.
Memphis trailed 33-18 at the half after going 9:30 in the first half without a field goal. UAB took advantage of the absence of starting point guard LaToya Bullard and used various presses and pressure on in-bounds after made UAB field goals to force 11 Tiger turnovers in the first half. Alex Winchell broke loose for a three from the win with 3.5 seconds left in the first half to snap the Tiger scoreless streak from the field. The game was played at UAB's pace the entire first half, with Tiger turnovers turning in to bad breaks with three Tigers picking up a pair of fouls, forcing McFerrin to work the bench trying to find someone to get the stalled Memphis offense going. While Memphis was struggling with its offense, UAB unleashed its three-point shooters, hitting 5-for-8 from three point range in the opening half.
Memphis used a 8-2 run to trim the UAB lead to single digits at 35-26, but the game got chippy again, and UAB used some loose ball scrambles to push the lead back to 16 at 46-30 after a triple from Jala Harris. But a Chatia Kelsey layup started a 12-3 Memphis run that again trimmed the deficit to single digits, this time at 50-43 with 6:37 to play before Brittany Carter picked up a second offensive charge call for her third foul of the game.
Amber Jones then scored seven unanswered points to push the lead back to double-digits t 4:31 before a Brittany Carter free-throw cut the deficit to 10 at 56-46. Ramses Lonlack then scored four straight points and Nicole Dickson hit a three to cut the deficit to 60-53 with 47 seconds to play, but the Tigers didn't have anything else in the tank for the Blazers, who closed out the win at the free-throw line.
"We did go to work in the second half, we cut it to 56-50 with about 3 minutes to play, but as so often happens, when you expend that much energy to get yourself back in to the game, you need everything to go right and we didn't have everything go right," McFerrin said. "Our triangle and two defense got them a little discombobulated and they brought a little used shooter off the bench and she hit the shot, and Amber Jones hit one."
Carter led Memphis with 15 points , adding seven rebounds. Lonlack and Dickson each scored 11 points in the loss.
Tamika Dukes finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, as UAB used 11 different players against Memphis. Amber Jones added 16 points and four rebounds. Jala Harris added 12 points and two steals off the bench for UAB.
The Tigers will now prepare for the quarterfinal round of the GMC Sierra Conference USA Women's Basketball Championships, which start Monday. The Tigers have a first round bye and will not begin play until Tuesday when they face the winner of East Carolina/Southern Miss game at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are available for purchase through the University of Memphis Ticket Office by calling 901-678-2331.