Lady Tigers Hold Off Jackson State, 57-54
Dec. 14, 2002
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Led by junior Jordie Soso's effort off the bench to garner her second double-double of the season, the University of Memphis women's basketball team (5-2) held off Jackson State, 57-54, in the first round of the University of New Mexico/Southwest Airlines shootout, Saturday. Soso finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds, 10 defensive after coming off the bench and playing with the flu. The win is the 200th of Head Coach Joye-Lee McNelis' career, improving her overall record to 200-132. The win also snaps a two-game losing streak dating back to a loss to No. 19 Mississippi State.
Memphis led 32-31 at the half after struggling to adjust to 6-7 JSU center Amie Williams on the inside. Memphis shot 39.5 percent from the floor in the opening half, with Williams posting three of her five blocks in the opening 20 minutes. But Memphis would get aggressive with their defense on Williams and work to get to the free-throw line in the second half to pull out to a lead of 10 points when Jennifer Sullivan broke lose for a lay-up for two of her career-high 11 points.
But Jackson State Sonia Washington tried to keep her team in the game, hitting two of her 10 points with 7:01 remaining in the game to start a 5-1 run that would pull JSU within five at 54-49. Washington then hit a three at the 1:46 mark to cut the Lady Tiger lead to one, 55-54. Memphis' Soso would hit two key free-throws to keep Memphis up three and Jackson State missed three three-point field goal attempts in the last 10 seconds of the game, including one from the corner with 3.6 seconds left on the clock.
"No doubt, Soso was our MVP of this game," Head Coach Joye-Lee McNelis said. "She played with a tremendous amount of confidence and did a good job with her little jump hook that really kept us going. She rebounded well and hit those free-throws in crunch time there at the end and that was huge."
Memphis outrebounded Jackson State, which was averaging over 52 rebounds a game, 58-37. But for the first time all year, the Lady Tigers turned the ball over more than their opposition, committing 26 turnovers for the game compared to 14 for Jackson State.
Four Lady Tigers scored double-digits in the win. Senior center Shannon Hamp led the team with her fourth career double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Soso added 13 and Sullivan a career-high 11 with five rebounds and two steals. Princess Swilley also hit double-digit scoring for the first time since the season opener against Austin Peay State with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Jackson State was led by 6-7 center Williams. Williams went 8-for-13 from the field for 18 points, while Washington chipped in five of her 10 points in the last seven minutes of the game.
Memphis will now play the winner of the New Mexico/Dartmouth game that began at 4:15 p.m. (Mountain Time). The championship game is slated to be played at 3 p.m. (Mountain Time), Sunday.