Women's Basketball Falls Just Short in Comeback Attempt, 59-53
Dec. 7, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - Down by as many as 21 at one point following a 19-2 Arkansas run to open the second half, Memphis fell just short of pulling off a win in a 59-53 loss in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, Tuesday. The loss drops Memphis to 5-2 on the season, while Arkansas improves to 7-1.
"We have to learn to play the entire game," Lady Tiger head coach Blair Savage said. "We can't just focus on one aspect and forget about the other aspects."
Memphis led early in the game, opening with a 6-0 run that capitalized on three Arkansas turnovers to seize the early momentum. But Arkansas answered back with a three from Rochelle Vaughn and a layup by Ruby Vaden to cut the lead to one at 10-9. A Sheree Thompson jumper put Arkansas up one and the two teams traded leads four more times before Thompson hit another three to break a 13-all tie. Arkansas then outscored Memphis 10-9 in the later minutes of the first half before a Victoria Crawford steal and lay-up pulled Memphs within one at 26-25. But Kristin Moore hit a jumper and Memphis let a long three go wild before Arkansas closed out the half up 32-28.
Having come back from a halftime deficit to win in the past, the Lady Tigers had reason not to panic, but the Lady Tigers came unglued in a 19-2 Arkansas run that lasted until Crawford hit a jumper at the 12:44 mark for Memphis' first field goal of the second half. It had been over four minutes since Jennifer Sullivan's jumper, the lone two points the Lady Tigers could score during the big Lady Razorback run.
"We got behind by not playing good basketball," Savage said. "In the same token, we didn't take the lead because we didn't play smart basketball. We had some turnovers, we didn't capitalize out of our break or in our offensive set."
But Memphis found its heart and backed the big Arkansas run up with a 16-0 run of its own. When Raven Rogers hit a pair of free-throws at the 5:28 mark, the Lady Tigers had erased a 21-point deficit and trailed 51-46 as Crawford had hit 10 of her eventual 24 points, while Kaneshi Hart added six points, including a pair at the free-throw line.
But when Tamika Butler missed a pair of free-throws, Arkansas' Rochelle Vaughn grabbed the rebound and fed Sarah Pfeifer on a lay-up to put an end to the Lady Tiger run at 53-49. Following a Necaise steal and a pair of Crawford free-throws, Necaise stepped to the line and converted an old-fashioned three-point play after drawing a foul from April Seggenbush to pull to 53-51, but that was as close as Memphis could get as the Lady Tigers' launched a second wild three and missed on a pair of put-backs before Arkansas sealed the game and forced Memphis to begin fouling. Raven Rogers would get a three-point field goal off before the game clock expired, but it fell short as the clock ran out.
Crawford led all players with 24 points, while Necaise finished with 10, her third double-digit scoring effort of the season. Crawford got back on track after struggling with a 5-for-12 shooting effort from the line. She finished 8-for-15. Rogers led all players with 14 rebounds, while Jennifer Sullivan had her five-game double-digit scoring streak snapped with two points before fouling out in seven minutes. Ruby Vaden came off the bench to lead Arkansas with 14 points, while Rochelle Vaughn finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The loss marks the fourth straight loss against Arkansas for the Lady Tigers and is Memphis' first home loss on the season. Memphis will look to get back on track when Big 12 foe Oklahoma State comes to town Saturday. That game time has been moved to 6 p.m. Arkansas will be off until Dec. 16th when they face Louisiana-Lafayette.