Women's Basketball Drops Exhibition Game, 83-68
Nov. 8, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - By Joshua Wilkins
The Houston Jaguars, who recently defeated Trinity Valley Junior College (ranked third in the nation), proved too much defensively in the second half, as the University of Memphis women's basketball team lost 83-68 in their final tune-up for the 2009-2010 season.
"I think in the there were parts of the game that I was pleased with," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "In the first half, we put 41 or 42 points on the board, and that's a lot for us. I was displeased that they put 40 points on the board when we were fairly fresh defensively, but I think for the most part, we saw our offensive system show itself today. I don't think we were a wreck out there. Defensively I thought we were solid in the first half, even though we couldn't find three-point shooters, and in the second half, I thought we let fatigue win on our bodies. "
Memphis led 41-40 at halftime after forcing 15 first-half Jaguar turnovers, but shot just 34.5 percent (10-29) in the second half.
The Tigers used key first-half runs of 9-2 and 9-1 to take their 41-40 halftime lead, utilizing scoring from eight different players. University of Georgia transfer Brittany Carter led the Tigers with 12 first half points, including four points that helped Memphis build an early 11-6 lead. Four points by junior post Savannah Ellis and a 3-pointer from junior guard Alex Winchell added to that lead.
The Jaguars would tie the game after their own 6-1 run, but soon Carter would give Memphis the lead back. Ellis converted an interior feed from LaToya Bullard, and Chatia Kelsey added two free throws to make the score 21-14.
Again, the Jaguars would respond with a 9-1 run and take their own lead until Carter tied the game back up at 29 with 6:26 to play in the half.
Memphis started the second half with four straight turnovers, as the Jaguars went on an 8-0 run, including two threes from former University of Houston player Sha'Ratta Hawkins.
"I was disappointed with our start to the second half," McFerrin said. "Number double zero (Hawkins), we couldn't find her on the three-point line and we started the half with four straight turnovers and that spelled our doom. We got our heads down and I don't think ever really got recovered from that. It was a two-point game with 10 minutes to play, but when we came unraveled, when a couple of things went poorly, we have a tendency to get our heads down, we've got to solve that."
Kelsey stopped the bleeding with a steal and lay-up, and a Winchell three pulled Memphis to within 50-46. After being fouled on a 3-point attempt, Carter would knock down three free throws with just more than 15 minutes to play, pulling Memphis to within 55-53, and she'd tie the game two possessions later with a jumper in the lane.
But the Jaguars mounted another run, this one 14-5, making the score 69-60 in the visitors favor. Carter scored four points that sandwiched a Winchell steal, and cut the deficit to 69-64. But that was as close as Memphis would get. A 12-0 Houston run ensued, pushing the Jaguar lead to 81-64 before Bullard scored for Memphis from right of the lane. Memphis only scored twice in the final 7:32 of the game, leaving the final on the losing end, 83-68.
Carter was the lone Tiger to score double-digits, finishing with 25 points on 8-for-22 shooting. She was 9-for-11 from the free-throw line, while the rest of the team was 5-for-12 from the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Ramses Lonlack led Memphis with eight rebounds, including six defensive, while Chatia Kelsey led the team with three assists.
Former Marshall star Sikeetha Shepard led the exhibition team made up of mostly all-conference honorees with 15 points, while Hawkins finished with 12 points, shooting 4-for-14 from well beyond the arc. Former Tiger Melissa Abraham started for the visiting squad, finishing with nine points and four rebounds.
Memphis opens its regular season against Indiana University this Friday as the first half of a men's/women's doubleheader at FedExForum. The women will play at 5 p.m., and the game will be broadcast via radio on 91.7 WUMR, while the men take on Jackson State at 8 p.m. Game tickets for the two games are on sale through the ticket office for just $12 at 901-678-2331.
- Memphis played without freshman Nicole Dickson, who suffered an injury in the scrimmage at UALR, but who should be back for the Indiana game. Senior point guard LaToya Bullard also played limited minutes after suffering an injury in practice. She played 20 minutes in her first game action since the 2007-08 season.