Women's Basketball Drops Season-Opener
Nov. 18, 2005
MONROE, La. - A combined 29 turnovers and 21 second half fouls thwarted any Lady Tiger hopes of a season-opening win in an 80-60 loss at Louisiana-Monroe, Friday night. Memphis battled turnovers all night, hitting two layups, and committing five turnovers in its first seven possessions, which allowed the Indians to run out to a quick 10-point lead, 22-11, with 11:43 remaining in the game.
The Lady Tigers (0-1) would begin chipping away at that lead following two lay-ups and a pair of free-throws fouls called while Memphis got out in transition. And when freshman Paris Leonard stepped to the line and hit a pair of free-throws, she knotted the game at 24-24.
But after making an offensive adjustment to the Lady Tigers fronting the posts, the Indians kicked it cross court and knocked down four three-point field goals in a four minute span to open the lead back up to 40-31. Memphis would add just two more buckets in the last three minutes of the first half, trailing at the break, 42-35.
"It was a disappointing effort," Lady Tiger head coach Blair Savage said. "Monroe wanted it a little bit more than we did, they just outplayed us. They just physically banged on us. We just stopped boxing out."
Coming out in the second half, the Lady Tigers' offensive difficulties continued, as Memphis would not hit its first points until Leonard hit a three with 14:46 remaining in the game to cut an Indian lead back to 47-38.Memphis then used a 9-2 run powered by Marie Reid and Sherika Montgomery getting loose inside to pull back to 51-45 with 10:32 in the game. Memphis tried to continue cutting into the lead, but at the 5:41 mark ULM made the first of seven consecutive unanswered trips to the free-throw line as Memphis was whistled for a pair of offensive fouls by post players posting in the block and then added to the problem by committing seven turnovers on their next eight offensive possessions. That last block of time was all the Indians needed to put the game out of reach, growing a 10 point lead to a 21 points lead in just over three minutes of play.
Four Indians scored double-digit points for the Indians, led by 24 from LaJenna Howard. Melanie Williams added 13 and April O'Neal added 12. Michelle Biley, a pre-season Southland Conference pick, finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, including seven offensive boards. ULM outrebounded Memphis 46-33, and grabbed 28 offensive boards. Memphis actually shot better from the field, hitting 44.4 percent, but the eight treys they gave up made up for the shooting difference.
Memphis continues a five-day road trip with a Monday night game at Arkansas. Memphis returns home for its own Thanksgiving Tournament Friday, when they host Austin Peay.