Tigers Upended by Southern Miss in First Round
March 13, 2013
TULSA - - After scoring just 20 first half points, the University of Southern Mississippi (15-15) out-scored Memphis (17-14) 47-32 in the second half in a 67-58 win over the University of Memphis in the Conference USA first round, Wednesday.
In the third meeting of the season between the two teams, both teams got off to a slow offensive start and there was plenty of scouting film available from the regular season. Memphis finally started to get points in transition and an Ariel Hearn layup followed by a Lauren McGraw bucket and one put the Tigers up 20-15. Memphis then got rebounding and defense inside with the presence of junior Pa'Sonna Hope, and outlet the passes to lane runners in transition, where Hearn scored, followed by a pair of buckets from Nicole Dickson. Hope then hit the offensive glass and stuck back a pair of buckets to put the Tigers up 24-15.
But then the Tigers made costly mistakes in the final minute. After Lauren McGraw picked up her second personal foul, the Tigers were upset with the call and lost Jamierra Faulkner, who drained the first three for the game from right in front of the Tigers' bench. Faulkner then tried to square up on defense against Ariel Hearn, but her falling to the floor startled the Tigers' freshman, and in trying to take advantage of the suddenly-open space, Hearn travelled on the drive to the rim. Faulkner then hurried up court and drained a jumper in the paint at the halftime buzzer to cut the Tigers' lead to 26-20 at the half.
Southern Miss held a rebounding advantage early in the first half, but the Tigers had grabbed the edge at the break, 22-21. The Golden Eagles corrected that, out-rebounding Memphis 20-5 in the first 17 minutes of the second half before Ariel Hearn scored nine of Memphis' next 11 points to pull Memphis back within five at 58-53.
But turnovers haunted the Tigers in the second half, and Memphis could not convert against a zone that Southern Miss did not go to until they had a 10-point lead in hand.
The Golden Eagles iced the game at the free-throw line, 67-58. Hearn led Memphis with 20 points in the loss, while Dickson finished what could be her final career game at Memphis with 12 points.
The Tigers will have to wait until late Monday night to see if their 17-14 record gets them into the WNIT field.