UCF Shoots Past Memphis 81-63
March 11, 2011
EL PASO, Texas - - UCF (21-10) opened the game with a pair of three-point field goals and never looked back in an 81-63 win over Memphis (21-12) in the first Buick Conference USA Semifinal Friday. UCF hit 11 triples in the win, the most threes given up by the Tigers this season.
"I thought we did a bad job of showing up ready to play," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "We showed up at 9:15 instead of 9:00 and by then it was already too late. But we lost to a very good basketball team today. You have to give all the credit to UCF for the game they played."
Memphis was out-worked and out-raced down the floor by UCF in the opening half. UCF out-rebounded Memphis 24-14 and UCF connected on five straight shots, including four from three-point range to open the game. Even when Memphis managed to get a bucket, UCF would race down the floor in transition for easy points in the paint to build a 45-29 half time lead. Memphis tried to get the ball inside, but junior post Jasmine Lee was 1-for-7 from the floor, and the missing inside shots allowed UCF to sit in the face of the shooters on the perimeter, where UCF kept three point shooters Alex Winchell and Nicole Dickson covered up.
Following the half time lead, Memphis got two quick buckets inside, but UCF drilled another triple to squash any Tiger momentum, and stretched the lead to 20 at 57-37 with 14:14 to play. Memphis tried to answer with a three from Brittany Carter, but Memphis could close to 14 down four different times, but still not get over the hump. Following an Alex Winchell layup to trim the deficit to 69-55 with 4:36 to play, but without Brittany Carter (who had tweaked her foot injury on an early possession) and with Winchell being face guarded, the Tigers could not get the big three they needed to push the deficit closer to single digits.
Nicole Dickson led Memphis with 15 points, adding six rebounds and three assists while battling foul trouble. Ramses Lonlack scored 14 points with five rebounds and a steal, while Jasmine Lee finished with eight points on 2-for-11 shooting, and a team-high nine rebounds. Brittany Carter scored nine points with a game-high three blocks in the loss.
All five starters for UCF scored double-digits, led by 21 from Chelsie Wiley, who was 4-for-8 from three-point range. Ashia Kelly also had 4 triples (on six tries) to finish with 12 points. D'Nay Daniels finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Tigers will now wait until the WNIT field is announced on Monday to see if there will be a post-season for the 21-win squad.
"I hope that the committee will look at the fact that not that long ago we were in second place by ourselves in the standings before we suffered a really significant injury. Since then, we beat a very good Rice squad and advanced to the semifinals of our tournament," McFerrin said.