Lady Tigers Advance to Second Round of WNIT
March 15, 2000
MEMPHIS, TN - After junior forward Tiffany Adkins exploded for a career-high 36 points, and with the help of an extremely vocal Elma Roane Fieldhouse of 1,452 fans, the University of Memphis Lady Tiger basketball team (18-11) advanced to the second round of the WNIT. On Wednesday night, Memphis knocked off the Lady Indians of Arkansas State, 74-76.
The score was tied going into the intermission but Memphis would storm out to a five-point lead until with 14:16 left to play, Arkansas State tied the score and took the lead, 46-43. The Lady Indians went up by as many five until with 3:04 left on the clock, Adkins converted two key free throws, tying the game at 66. The Tigers took the lead for good on two more free throws, again by Adkins, and Memphis did not trail again for the rest of the game. The Lady Tigers were lethal from the line, scoring 20 of their last 22 points from the charity stripe. The Lady Indians got as close as two points in the closing minutes, but couldn't get over the hump.
In addition to her 36 points, Adkins also lead the team in rebounds grabbing 11 while swiping six steals in the win. This marks the second double-double of her career and is also a back-to-back effort, as her only previous double-double came in the Lady Tigers loss in the C-USA tournament to UNC Charlotte. Also scoring in double-digits was senior point guard Yolanda Reed, who dropped in 11 and also dished out seven assists.
"I thought the team played hard," said coach Joye Lee-McNelis. "To be honest, no one wants to play in the WNIT because they would much rather get into the Big Dance. But this team made a commitment and realizes that they have been given a second chance. At the end of the year, there are two champions --- the NCAA champion and the WNIT champion, and we plan to do our best with the second chance we have been given"
Tanisha Johnson led Arkansas State in scoring, pouring in 30 points to go along with her team-leading eight boards. Johnson was 4-of-6 from three-point land, and was 12-of-15 from the field..
Memphis managed to pull off the win despite shooting 38 percent from the field, compared to Arkansas State which shot 47 percent for the game.
The Lady Tigers advance to the second round of the WNIT, and will host the Lady Gators of Florida. Florida knocked off Dayton Wednesday night, 97-93, on the road. The C-USA-SEC match-up will take place this Friday March 17th at 7 p.m. in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.