Women's Basketball Falls at UTSA, 85-73
Dec. 29, 2006
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The University of Memphis women's basketball team was down by as many as 19 in the second half in the first game of the Wells Fargo New Years Classic and battled back to eight down, but ran out of time in a 85-73 loss to the University of Texas - San Antonio, Friday night.
"We weren't ready to play from the start," head coach Blair Savage-Lansden said. "Our intensity wasn't there. When you're on the road you have to come in automatically thinking you're 10 points down, no matter what. We came in, we got the lead, and we got a little complacent. We took some ill-advised shots, we got impatient on defense, we didn't play to their characteristics, we kind of got away from our game plan and as for UTSA, they were ready for us."
Memphis opened the game giving up two quick threes, but battled back by forcing the Roadrunners in to turnovers by switching up defenses. On the Memphis offensive end, Aroha Jennings took advantage of her defender falling down by going to the basket and drawing a foul. She would hit both free-throws to force the first of three first half times at 11 with 14:11 to play.
Memphis would keep up the defensive pressure and with seven of the 10 players who played in the opening 20 minutes scoring points, the Lady Tigers took their first lead of the game as Jazmyn Green's defensive pressure forced the Roadrunners to turn the ball over. Paris Leonard picked up the loose ball, and pushed the ball over to Hope Adams on the other end of the floor. Adams fed Ashley Thornton for her first points of the game, giving Memphis the 17-15 lead with 12:02 to play in the first half.
But Monica Gibbs was too quick for the Lady Tiger line-up on the floor, and the combination of Gibbs and Ewalefo helped UTSA seize back the lead as a pair of Lady Tiger turnovers turned into fast break points at the other end. In all, UTSA outscored Memphis in the paint, 20-8 in the first half, as both Ewalefo and Gibbs had 13 first half points.
In the second half, the Lady Tigers' defensive adjustment slowed Gibbs down, holding her to just six second half points, but Gibbs then looked for open teammates out of the Lady Tiger double-team, and helped three other teammates score double-digits, led by 25 from Vivian Ewalefo. Gibbs finished with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, adding six assists, while Lynsey Freeman scored 17 points, knocking down five shots from three-point range.
Memphis was led by a career-high 26 points from Aroha Jennings off the bench. Jennings, who was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line, led Memphis with seven rebounds and four assists, adding a steal. Ashley Thornton added 14 points, shooting 5-for-9 from the field, and also adding seven rebounds. Se'erra Fantroy was 5-for-7 from the floor, finishing with 13 points, five rebounds and two steals.
Memphis will close out its non-conference schedule, Saturday, against Kentucky, at 5 p.m. That game can be heard in Memphis on WUMR, 91.7 FM or on www.gotigersgo.com through Yahoo Sports. UT-San Antonio will host Kent State in the final game of the Wells Fargo New Years Classic.
The Lady Tigers will return home to open league play with three straight home games, hosting UAB, Jan. 2nd at 7 p.m. That game will be camper reunion night and jersey night. Anyone wearing a jersey will receive free admission.