Lady Tigers Outshoot Cowgirls in 68-59 Win
Dec. 11, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Despite seven ties and 10 lead changes in the first half, the Lady Tiger basketball team (6-2) held off Oklahoma State (3-4) in a 68-59 shoot-out at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, Saturday.
The first half was an ebb-and-flow type of game, as neither team could build more than a seven point lead in the first 20 minutes. With Memphis firing 40 percent from beyond the field and 21.8 percent from three-point range, OSU went zone late in the first half and Tamika Butler made the Cowgirls pay. Butler fired three-of-four from three-point land in the opening half, and Memphis sunk four treys in the first 20 minutes. The four three-point field goals in the opening half was more than Memphis has scored in any one game in the previous seven tries. Butler would finish with 11 points, all of them in the first half.
"We just stuck with our game plan," Butler said. "They went into a 2-3 zone and we just took our open looks and kind of caught fire. In practice, we've been working a lot on our shooting. Every day after practice we work on our shooting or have a little shooting competition. I guess working on our shots paid off."
Up 40-35 at the half, Memphis turned up the defensive pressure and pressed the lead to eight before OSU's Taleesha Conder hit a three from the corner to pull the gap to three at 49-46 as both teams were gassed while waiting for the under 12 minute media time out, which did not come until 8:47 in the second half. Megan Gooch would corral an offensive rebound and stick it back to go back up five and Christian Hood answered 16 seconds later with a jumper of her own to make the Memphis lead three again at 51-48.
Following the media timeout another flurry of trading baskets took place, with OSU again pulling within three at 56-52 with 6:34 remaining, but that would be the last OSU would see of the Lady Tigers as Victoria Crawford would grab five steals in three minutes to push Memphis into the break and into some transition baskets.
"I think we were able to expand the lead because of our defense," Head Coach Blair Savage said. "We got some steals, Victoria got some big steals, and we able to capitalize on those, whether we scored on the lay-up or got fouled and went to the free-throw line, we actually converted on their mistakes."
Memphis would push the lead to double-digits twice, with OSU closing the gap to 68-59 before Devin Necaise stole the ball with six seconds left to secure the Lady Tiger victory.
Crawford would hit the 20-point mark for the second time in as many games, adding four rebounds and five steals and going 8-for-11 from the free-throw line after struggling from the line against Arkansas.
"Last game I missed like seven free-throws," Crawford said. "And that's just so not like me from last year. I was an 80 percent free-throw shooter, and I guess my confidence went down that game (Arkansas). I got in the gym with Coach Darling and I fixed the problem."
Jennifer Sullivan would add 14 points and five rebounds, while Butler added her 11 in the first half off the bench, doing most of her damage from beyond the arc. Raven Rogers led the Lady Tigers with her second consecutive double-digit rebounding effort, finishing with 10.
"Raven has done an outstanding job on the boards," Savage said. "And the best thing about Raven that the average fan won't see is her defense is getting better. She put great pressure on the ball tonight. They countered our four guards with one of their guards to start the game, and Raven shut that person down and didn't let that person be a factor. She denied the ball, she did an outstanding job defensively tonight."
Nine Stone, the 2003 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, would finish with 18 points, while Taleesha Conder added 12 from the bench. Eliz Gomes added 10 rebounds and seven points in the loss.
Memphis will take a break for final exams, and will travel to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for their Dec. 19th game against Oral Roberts, a team that beat OSU in overtime a week ago. That game will be aired on WUMR and will tip at 6:30 p.m. The second game of the Fun in the Sun Shootout will feature UMKC against Western Kentucky, a team that eliminated Memphis from the WNIT last year and that just upset No. 13 Vanderbilt earlier this week.
OSU will return home to host Texas Southern, Monday, before the holiday break.