Women's Basketball Hands Idaho First Loss of Season, 73-64
Dec. 28, 2003
MISSOULA, Mont. - The University of Memphis women's basketball team converted all eight free throw attempts in the final four minutes of the game to upend previously unbeaten Idaho (7-1), 73-64, in the first round of the University of Montana Holiday Tournament, Sunday.
Freshman Devin Necaise poured in a career-high 17 points, including 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the three-point line, to lead the Lady Tigers to their ninth win of the season and their third win away from the Elma Roane Fieldhouse in as many tries.
Idaho's Emily Faurholt, who leads the nation in scoring with over 25 points a game, scored the first six points for Idaho, before Taylor Benson scored the next seven Vandal points. But the Lady Tigers stood toe-to-toe with the Vandals, as the two teams exchanged leads 10 times in the first seven minutes of the game as junior forward Raven Rogers made the most of her first start of the season with her first career double-doubleof 16 points, a season-best, and 12 rebounds. Rogers scored 14 of her 16 points in the opening half.
"We decided to change the line-up to see if we could get off to a better start in the game and we choose to go with Raven to give us rebounding and the ability to take it to the basket against post players. She did what we asked of her by getting her first career double-double," Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said.
Necaise scored one of her treys with 5:36 remaining in the first half to pull the Lady Tigers back to a 27 all tie. The freshman added a jumper from just in front of the three-point arc when the Vandals tried to trap her, giving Memphis a 29-27 lead. Memphis closed the first half on a 16-6 lead to take a 40-33 lead into the locker room.
After a break-neck pace in the first half, both teams came out and struggled on the offensive end early in the second half. It was almost
three minutes into the second half before Benson hit a bucket, while Memphis would counter with its first points of the second half five minutes
into the game with a free-throw from junior Jennifer Sullivan. Sullivan would finish with five points before fouling out with 14:33 remaining in the
Memphis would lead the entire second half, but would watch a 12-point lead dwindle to just three when Mitchell sunk a trey for three of her 13 points to cut the Memphis lead to 60-57 with 6:08 remaining in the game.
But Necaise answered back with a trey of her own and despite the Lady Tigers' last field goal being a Soso lay-up with 4:18 left in the second half, Memphis converted all its free-throw attempts down the stretch while stretching the floor and keeping the Vandal defense scrambling.
A trio of Lady Tigers came off the bench to score double-digits, led by Necaise's 17. Jordie Soso fell just one rebound shy of a doubledouble with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Victoria Crawford finished with 10 points, and five rebounds.
"Our bench continues to be the major key in our success -- Victoria Crawford, Devin Necaise and Jordie Soso," Head Coach Joye Lee- McNelis said. "They made an immediate impact in the game and they were in at the end of the game when the game was on the line."
Soso, who scored 12 of her 13 points in the second half, while buckling down on Faurholt. "Jordie Soso went up against the nation's leading scorer and held her to 10 points in the second half, holding her to 4-for-11 shooting," McNelis said. Faurholt finished 8-for-20 from the floor for the night, finishing with 22 points and seven rebounds.
Memphis was whistled for 22 fouls during the game, while Idaho was called just 17 times. With the win, Memphis advances to Monday's championship game against the winner of the Princeton/Montana game that just got underway. The championship game will be played at 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. in the central time zone.