Women's Basketball Survives Lipscomb Scare, 57-52
Nov. 22, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - A trio of Lady Tigers hit double digits in points as the University of Memphis women's basketball team (2-0) survived a tight 57-52 victory over Lipscomb University (0-1) on Monday night at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
"It was a close one, we anticipated that style of play from Lipscomb just from reviewing film from last year," Head Coach Blair Savage said. "So we told our players, people are going to do that to us, we have to be confident in our half court game. And at times, we were patient, and at times we weren't, but we can fix those, those things are very fixable.
With a tied score at 48 and just over two minutes left, senior Victoria Crawford nailed a three-pointer to give the Lady Tigers a lead it would never relinquish. Crawford's three was the only one for Memphis in the entire game in seven attempts and broke an 0-for-6 stretch.
"They sagged off me," Crawford said. "I was like, I can knock this shot down, so I'm gonna shoot it. I knew it was kind of early and coach really stressed moving the ball and running the clock down a little bit before we take the shot, but I was just wide open. And as I shot it, I didn't even see it go in, I just looked at the bench and said oh my god. That was really a crucial point I believe, because it was tied. "
Crawford finished the game with three rebounds and 15 points, four coming in the final two-minute stretch. She finished second in points behind senior teammate Jennifer Sullivan's 19 points and five rebounds.
Junior Latrice Booker kept the Lady Tigers in the first half with eight of her 10 points coming within the first 20 minutes. With five minutes remaining in the half, two-straight lay-ups by Booker gave Memphis a 22-14 lead.
But an eight-point scoring drive by the Lady Bisons, the Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason favorite, brought the team within one with 23 seconds left. Two successful free-throws by Devin Necaise gave Memphis a three-point advantage before Lipscomb's Katie Beth Pate ended the first half with the Lady Tigers holding on to a one-point, 28-27 lead.
Both Memphis and Lipscomb shot 42.9 percent from the field in the first half. The Bisons also shot 42.9 percent from the three-point range, successful on three of seven attempts in the half.
In the second period, the Lady Tigers again pulled away with an eight-point drive, leading 45-33 in the 11 minute mark. Sullivan led the drive, scoring six of the points and finishing with 13 points in the half. But Lipscomb fought right back, outscoring Memphis 15-3 down the stretch to tie the game with 2:21 left to go.
Senior Courtney Bounton led the Lady Bisons with 13 points and five rebounds, while sophomore Penny Jones led the team in rebounds with seven, five coming on the defensive end. Senior Raven Rogers led the Lady Tigers in rebounds with seven, but Memphis was out-rebounded 41-28 in the game.
"What we need to get better at is being consistent," Savage said. "We rebounded extremely well against Mercer and tonight we got out-rebounded. Just the consistency on the things we talk about in the locker room. The thing I do like is that we're winning close ball games. I think that brings confidence from the person that's in to the last person that's on the bench. We understand the game and we understand that we can win the close games."
The two teams combined for 50 turnovers in the game with Lipscomb committing 31.
Memphis will next host the 20th annual Kroger Lady Tiger Classic beginning Friday when the team plays Centenary at 6 p.m. South Alabama and UL-Monroe are also participating in the tournament with the championship game being held on Saturday at 5 p.m. after the 3 p.m. consolation game. Memphis has won 12 straight Kroger Lady Tiger Classic Titles.
The tournament will offer fans 2-for-1 admission for anyone bringing two cans of food that will be distributed throughout the Memphis area. All University of Memphis Faculty and Staff will also receive free admission with their university-issued IDs.