Bench Backstops Tigers to 65-58 Win at Saint Louis
Dec. 19, 2012
ST. LOUIS - - The University of Memphis (5-5) got 21 points from the bench in a 65-58 road win at Saint Louis (5-6), Wednesday afternoon. Lauren McGraw came in and chipped in a career-high 11 points, Ann Jonesadded eight second half points and KK Harvey finished with eight rebounds, including six offensive, in the win.
"What a great team win this was tonight," Melissa McFerrinsaid. "I think that what we did tonight was do a good job of sticking to the game plan. We had a few moments there at the end, but this is a young team and they are going to have to learn to handle that kind of pressure at the end of games."
After the two teams traded baskets to start the game, Saint Louis surged in front on a 6-0 run to take a lead that they would hold until Lauren McGrawdrilled her first three of the season to tie it up at 22 with 6:04 remaining. But that tie was short-lived, as Memphis fouled Jacy Bradley and she hit both free throws to start a 6-2 SLU run that pushed the Billiken lead to 28-24 with 3:12 to play. Memphis then pinned Mallory Eggert on the baseline on an offensive rebound, forcing SLU head coach Lisa Stone to take a timeout. Memphis then tipped the inbounds loose and was trying to track down the steal when the Tiger bench was whistled for a technical foul after the shot clock reset on the change of possession.
That technical seemed to fire up junior post KK Harvey, who stormed in and started tangling with Eggert, helping Eggert draw her second foul with 2:37 remaining in the half. Harvey helped the Tigers overcome a six-point deficit built up by the made technical free throws with her work on the glass, finishing the first half with eight rebounds, just two off her career-best.
With more balance in the Tigers' offense as McGraw had a season-high seven points and Ariel Hearn had six, Nicole Dicksonfinally found some space to operate and picked up her own blocked shot and scored it on a second effort to knot the game at 30 with 31.3 seconds left in the first half. Memphis trapped the Billiken ball-handler on the next trip and McGraw tracked it down and lofted a hook shot from the short corner as the clock expired. That shot bounced off the rim to the other side, sending the Tigers to the locker room tied up for the first time this season.
In the second half, the two teams traded buckets early on before Nicole Dickson sunk a jumper with 15:27 left in the second half to give Memphis a lead it would not relinquish. Saint Louis tried to go back inside to post Mallory Eggert in the second half, but the Tigers did a better job denying her the ball and forcing her to work around the defenders. When the Billikens had to rest her midway through the second half, the Tigers sent Ann Jones in to work and the sophomore responded with eight of the Tigers' next 14 points. Memphis substituted Pa'Sonna Hopefor Jones, and she helped stretch the Memphis lead to as many as nine at 57-48 with 3:25 remaining.
But the young Tiger line-up had some shaky moments trying to close out the game. Memphis missed two shots and turned it over two times, then sent the Billikens to the free-throw line, where they tried to whittle into the Tiger lead. But point guard Ariel Hearnmade sure to get the ball on the inbounds after the free-throw tries and was fouled to stop the clock. She stepped to the line and was 6-for-6 to close out the win.
Hearn and Dickson each finished with 17 points, while McGraw chipped in with a career-high 11. Dickson and Harvey led the Tigers with eight rebounds apiece.
Lorreal Jones and Eggert each scored 15 for Saint Louis, while Courtney Webb finished with 11.
Memphis travles to Seton Hall on Saturday. The Pirates defeated the University of New Orleans Wednesday afternoon, 87-35, to improve to 4-7 on the season. That game will be played at 2 p.m. (ET) and will be carried in Memphis on 91.7 FM. The pre-game radio show will start at 12:45 p.m. (CT).