Lady Tigers Carve Up Centenary in Opening Round of Thanksgiving Classic, 69-56
Nov. 26, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- - Seven-straight points by senior Victoria Crawford helped the University of Memphis women's basketball team take an early 23-2 lead and cruise to a 65-42 victory over Centenary College on Friday night.
In the first game of the 20th annual Kroger/Lady Tiger Classic at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, three Classic records were broken in the game. Centenary's 42 points is the fewest points ever by a team in the tournament, surpassing UMKC's 43 in 2001. Memphis and the Ladies' combined 107 points is the fewest combined points by two teams, knocking off the previous record of 113 points by Mississippi College and Cheyney State in 1986. The 15 field goals made by Centenary is also a new record for the fewest made in the tournament. The previous low was 16 by UMKC and Sam Houston State in 2001.
After Centenary (1-2) scored in the first minute, Memphis (3-0) went on a 21-point run, holding the Ladies scoreless for the next nine minutes. Seven different Tigers scored in the drive while Centenary committed nine of its 28 turnovers during the stretch.
The Ladies then made their best effort to stay in the game with a 10-point run and 15-2 stretch, bringing the game within eight with under five minutes left in the first half. Sophomore Jelena Aleksic led Centenary in the stretch, scoring six of her eight points. She finished second on the team in points behind junior Whitney Rushing's 10.
Memphis took a 36-22 lead into halftime before shutting the door on the Ladies with a 15-point drive early in the second half to put the Tigers up 53-26. All of Crawford's five second half points came in the drive while senior Jennifer Sullivan scored six points in the run.
Sullivan finished the game with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists while Crawford finished with a team high 14 points, three rebounds and two assists. Freshman Marie Reid was three points away from a double-double, leading the team in rebounds with 10 and scoring seven points.
The Tigers will next meet UL-Monroe in the Kroger/Lady Tiger Classic Championship game on Saturday at around 5 p.m at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. The game is scheduled to start 30 minutes after the Centenary vs. South Alabama consolation game at 3 p.m. Memphis is seeking its 13th straight Classic Title.
All Tiger fans bringing two cans of food that will be donated to a Memphis-area food bank in cooperation with Kroger will receive 2-for-1 admission for both games. This weekend is also University of Memphis Faculty/Staff Weekend, and all faculty and staff will receive free admission with their university-issued ID.
UL-Monroe 69, South Alabama 56
Whitney Woodard and Donyel Wheeler each finished with 14 points, while Genevieve Delk added 10 points in the loss. USA hit 37.9 percent for the game, but committed 20 turnovers and converted just 9-of-15 attempts from the free-throw line, while ULM outrebounded the Lady Jags, 42-34.