Women's Basketball Advances to C-USA Semifinal with 77-67 Win Over SMU
Go Tigers!
Four Tigers score double digits in quarterfinal win on Thursday.

Go Tigers!
Four Tigers score double digits in quarterfinal win on Thursday.
Go Tigers!

March 8, 2012

Tickets for Saturday morning's semifinal are available at FedExForum for $10.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - Brittany Carter came off the bench to score a game-high 18 points and was one of four Tigers' players to finish in double digits as host and second-seeded Memphis defeated No. 10 seed SMU, 77-67, in the 2012 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship Quarterfinals on Thursday at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.

SMU led for most of the first half, but a Carter layup with 1:04 to play in the opening stanza gave Memphis a 28-27 lead it would not relinquish. The Tigers forced 19 turnovers which directly led to 24 points and Memphis used nine steals to spark 18 fast-break points.

With the win, Memphis advances to the C-USA Championship Semifinals where the Tigers will take on third-seeded Tulane (21-9) on Friday at the FedExForum. Tipoff for that game is slated for 10 a.m. and will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network. SMU, meanwhile, concludes the 2011-12 season with a 14-17 record.

Nicole Dickson finished second to Carter with 17 points while Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Jasmine Lee added 16 and 10, respectively. Lee paced the Tigers with eight rebounds while Abdul-Qaadir and Ramses Lonlack shared team-high assist honors with three each. Abdul-Qaadir also paced the home team with a trio of steals and her 16 points was a career-high.

As a team, the Tigers hit 29.4 percent of their first-half field goals (10-of-34) before bouncing back to connect on 13-of-25 opportunities (.520) following halftime. Memphis took advantage of 24 SMU personal fouls and hit 27-of-41 free throws to come away with the win.

Memphis trailed by as many as five at 18-13 with 10:41 to play in the first have and the Tigers found themselves on the wrong side of a 26-23 score with 4:17 to go before intermission. After Memphis twice cut the deficit to one, Carter laid one off the glass 3:13 later and Abdul-Qaadir followed with another Tiger basket to make it 30-27 at the break.

The Memphis lead continued to expand as the second half ticked along and it appeared as if the Tigers put the Mustangs away when Lauren McGraw drained a pair of free throws to make it a 15-point game at 58-43 with 10:32 left in regulation. SMU refused to go away quietly and used a 9-1 run over the next 1:54 to cut the deficit down to seven. That would be as close as the Mustangs would get the rest of the way, however, and Memphis hit six-of-eight free throws over the final three minutes to account for the final score.

SMU's Akil Simpson posted the game's lone double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Samantha Mahnesmith led the Mustangs with 15 points - including a trio of 3-pointers - and Krystal Johnson added 11. Sabrina McKinney paced the Ponies with three assists while Mahnesmith and Alisha Filmore shared team-high steals honors with two each.

 

 

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