Lady Tigers Win 15th Annual Lady Tiger Classic
Nov. 27, 1999
MEMPHIS, TENN. - The University of Memphis Lady Tiger basketball team clinched the title in the 15th annual Lady Tiger Classic with a 62-61 victory over Rice University here at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Saturday evening.
Senior Yolanda Reed led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 15 points off a 5-of-10 shooting effort from the field. Reed was 5-of-6 from the charity stripe and also recorded three rebounds and four assists en route to being honored as the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Also named to the all-tournament team for Memphis was sophomore Malissa Bush who scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds against the Rice Owls. In the first game of the tournament versus Providence, Bush scored 20 points and totaled seven steals and six rebounds. She was also named to the all-tournament team of last year's Lady Tiger Classic.
The Lady Tigers went to the lockerroom at the half with a five-point deficit (29-24) after shooting just 32.3 percent from the field. Memphis came out strong in the second half and outscored Rice, 38-32, with a 52 percent shooting effort. Memphis also was strong on the boards, boasting 40 rebounds over Rice's 28 team rebounds.
"What a win," said Memphis coach Joye Lee-McNelis. "I thought that when it got into crunch time, we stepped up. We had gone for about seven minutes without being able to execute, but when it came to crunch time, we stepped up and that made the difference. That shows the mark of a maturing team."
"This win was a good win for us because it was here at home, it helped us with maturing and we need to be able to step it up and be able to go hard against Mississippi State," added McNelis.
Freshman Kara Liggett led Rice offensively with 18 points off a 7-of-11 shooting mark from the field. Liggett also hit a game-high three treys and pulled down four rebounds. Kirra Jordan, who was named to the all-tournament team, was the only other player in double digits with 10 points. Jordan opened the tournament against Samford with 17 points and eight rebounds.
This was the eighth straight time that Memphis has won the Lady Tiger Classic and the 11th time in the tournament's 15-year history. In all of the last eight years, Memphis has placed two players on the all-tournament team.
The Lady Tigers will travel to Starkville, Miss., to take on a red-hot Mississippi State squad that recently defeated Louisiana Tech. The MSU-UM matchup will be on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. Memphis' next home game will be Dec. 7 at The Pyramid against the Tennessee Lady Vols. Tip-off for that meeting is set for 7 p.m.
In earlier tournament action, Samford defeated Providence College in overtime, 73-72. Samford's Mesha Tisdel led the way in scoring with a tournament-high 26 points off a 12-of-21 shooting effort from the field. Tisdel, along with Providence's Monika Roberts, was named to the all-tournament team. Roberts scored 16 points and hauled in 18 rebounds in the consolation game against Samford.
All-tournament team: Yolanda Reed, Memphis --- MVP Malissa Bush, Memphis, Kirra Jordan, Rice, Monika Roberts, Providence, Mesha Tisdel, Samford