Lady Tigers Lose to Western Kentucky, 104-87
March 21, 2004
Bowling Green, Ky. - In the WNIT, it's all about the home court advantage. Western Kentucky proved that today with a 104-87 victory over the University of Memphis in the second round of the WNIT here Sunday in front of over 1,000 Hilltopper fans.
Memphis ends the year at 21-10, while Western Kentucky takes a 20-13 record into the next round of the WNIT.
"I was very disappointed in the way we started the game," said coach Joye Lee-McNelis. "You have to give Western Kentucky a lot of credit for the way they came out and took a 15-0 lead. They shot the ball very well in the first three minutes of the game."
Despite the loss, senior Princess Swilley managed to enter the 1,000 Point Club after scoring just two points in today's game. Swilley became the second Lady Tiger in two straight years to enter the club, as Shannon Hamp reached the 1,000-point plateau last season.
"I was so happy with the fact that Princess got her 1,000 points," said McNelis. "It would have broken my heart if she wouldn't have gotten it. She has been a joy to coach these last four years, and she is the type of player that coaches wish they had 10 of. My hat is off to her family because they have raised a quality woman who I am proud of.
"Not too many people know that Princess has been playing with a lot of pain, and will have to have her other shoulder operated on after the season," added McNelis. "She has battled these last few weeks, and has never complained. I am truly proud of her, and will miss her greatly."
Junior Victoria Crawford led Memphis' efforts with a career-high 38 points off an 11-of-22 effort from the field, and a 16-of-17 mark from the charity stripe. Crawford hit 14 straight free throws before recording her only miss. Crawford also hauled in 12 rebounds for her second career double-double. Earlier this season against Maryland-Eastern Shore, Crawford was 10-of-10 from the line.
The Lady Tigers have been to the WNIT four years (1999, 2000, 2001, 2004) and have not won a road game in that tournament. In 1999 and 2001, Memphis exited the tournament with losses to Wisconsin and Alabama, respectively.
Sophomore Tamika Butler scored 15 points, and also dished out a game-high four assists. Juniors Jennifer Sullivan and Raven Rogers also scored in double digits with 12 points apiece. Rogers added 10 rebounds for her seventh career double-double effort. The Lady Tigers shot 46 percent from the field, and were outrebounded by WKU, 42-31. Memphis was 19-of-21 from the line, while WKU hit 26 of their 36 charity shots.
"I am very proud of how hard this team played," added McNelis. "This team never gave up and played with a lot of fight. There were a few times where we were down by 10 or 15 points, and they could have folded up and given up, but this team never did that. We hustled all the way to the very end, and for that I am very proud.
"I also am very appreciative to all of the fans that have supported this team all season, but I am truly thankful for all the people who drove here to support the Lady Tigers," said McNelis. "This program is very lucky to have the support of so many people."
The Hilltoppers jumped all over Memphis in the first half, running the score to 15-0 with 16:53 left in the half before Victoria Crawford was sent to the line for her first of 12 free throws. Following Crawford's two free-throw points, Memphis used an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 28-19 with just under 12 minutes left. WKU used a 10-of-12 effort from the field by Carla Bartee to run their lead to as many as 18 points with just over five minutes remaining before the break. Bartee had 20 points at the half, while Leslie Logsdon chipped in 18 points. Memphis' Crawford also had 18 points at the half, as she took all 12 of Memphis' free-throw shots, hitting all 12 of the charity shots. The Lady Tigers were forced into 15 turnovers, of which WKU managed to score 19 points.
WKU hit 62 percent of their shots from the field, and held Memphis to 42 percent shooting. WKU also outrebounded Memphis, 18-15, at the half.
Bartee finished the game with a career-high 32 points and 15 rebounds. She was 13-of-20 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Three other WKU starters scored in double figures as Logsdon totaled 27 points, Tiffany Porter-Talbert scored 22 points, and Krystal Gardner added 16 points. Porter-Talbert also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double. WKU is the first team to score 100 points against Memphis, since Tennessee defeated Memphis, 113-39, in 1999.