Last Second Shot Rolls Off Rim in 62-60 Women's Basketball Loss
Nov. 10, 2013
MEMPHIS - -
With Samford (1-0) up 61-60 and four seconds left on the game clock, freshman guard Breigha Wilder-Cochran waited for a defender to fly past her and got a jumper off, but it rolled off the backside of the rim and was rebounded by Samford with 0.2 seconds left on the clock in a 62-60 Bulldog win Sunday. Samford scored one of two free throws in the final 0.2 seconds, and an Ariel Hearn half court heave went in, but well after the clock sounded, dropping Memphis to 1-1 on the season.
"Our margin of error is really small," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "We have the opportunity to be a really good team, but we need everyone to be consistent in performing their roles. But I'm not going to lose my mind with this loss. We are a young team that is trying to find their way right now and we still had opportunities to win another close game. A win here would have helped us down the road later this season, but we were really close to walking out of here with two close wins in our first weekend."
It was a tight first half between the two young teams. Memphis had trouble handling the Bulldogs on the glass, getting out-rebounded 25-13 in the first half and getting just two offensive rebounds in the opening stanza. But Memphis held a 14-2 edge in fast break points at the half to offset five made three-point field goals from Samford to hold a 38-33 lead in the locker room.
But an inspired Samford team burst out of the locker room and opened the second half with an 11-0 run that erased the Memphis lead and put the Bulldogs up 44-38. Tiger coach Melissa McFerrin was forced to call a timeout with 17:07 left on the game clock to try to get her team's defensive feet back underneath them, but Samford responded with another drive around a defender to the rim to push the lead to six.
But that would be the biggest lead throughout the rest of the game, as Memphis used a three-point field goal from Devin Mack and a steal and a layup from Ariel Hearn to retake the lead at 50-49. An Asianna Fuqua-Bey stickback pushed the Memphis lead to three at 52-49 with 9:01 to play, but Tiger fouls on the other end sent the Bulldogs back to the free-throw line, where Ellen Riggins knocked down two free-throws to make the Samford deficit just one. The score would knot up two times before a Tiger turnover turned into a Bulldog triple, snapping a 54 all tie and giving Samford a 57-54 lead with 4:50 to go. Memphis finished with just 14 turnovers, but nine came in the second half.
Memphis answered with back-to-back layups from Pa'Sonna Hope and Mooriah Rowser, but Krista Stricklin scored a layup for Samford to take a 59-58 lead with 2:54 to go. Memphis followed Stricklin's layin with three straight turnovers before a Rowser jumper from the elbow swished to push Memphis back ahead 60-59 with 1:17 to go. But Samford again had an answer, as Riggins, who led Samford with 16 points, drained her final jumper of the day to give Samford the 60-59 advantage with 57 seconds left.
Memphis had multiple opportunities to get the lead back, but missed a three-point field goal and a pair of free throws in the final 57 seconds, setting up the final possession for Wilder-Cochran.
Hearn led all players with 17 points, but on 8-for-20 shooting. Rowser finished with 13 points, while Wilder-Cochran recorded her first career double-digit scoring night with 10 points. Fuqua-Bey led Memphis on the glass with nine rebounds, but the Tigers were out-done on the glass, 41-34, by the Bulldogs.
Riggins led Samford with 16 points, while Stricklin added 15 points. Hannah Nichols came off the bench to score 12 points. Both Stricklin and Nichols had seven rebounds to lead Samford.
Memphis takes to the road for its next game, playing at Wright State, Friday, at 7 p.m. (ET). That game can be heard in Memphis on 91.7 FM.