Nov. 29, 2005
Based on the four-year history of this series everyone knew it was going to be a close one.
But no one realized how close it might get, especially with Lipscomb's Lady Bisons up by 18 points at 72-54 with 6:44 left in the game against the University of Memphis. But in the end 13 turnovers, six missed lay ups and only one basket scored in the final 6:11 of the game provided Memphis with a major comeback and a 76-74 win Tuesday night at Allen Arena.
"We played really great basketball for about 34 minutes," said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett. "We were playing such good defense the second half to get that (18-point) lead. We had such good offensive flow, but when we got up by 18 we kind of lost our flow a little bit. We thought it was over a little bit."
The Lady Bisons played the final 8 ½ minutes without the services of starting point guard Catie Woods who was forced to leave the game with an injury. Memphis took advantage of the situation by pressing.
"Catie is normally going to be in there in those situations," said Bennett. "We have a young team and they kind of panicked. We called several time outs. We had a hard time calming down."
Memphis guard Paris Leonard scored what proved to be the game winning goal with 11 seconds left in the game. Lipscomb's Katie Rollins put up a final shot from underneath the basket for the Lady Bisons, but the field goal was disallowed.
"This really hurts," said Bennett. "It is hard to put it behind you. Everybody is hurting inside. We have to bounce back and carry over the positives from this game."
Memphis placed four players in double figures with guard Devin Necaise leading with 19. Guard Tamika Butler added 17 with 10 of her points coming from the free throw line. Leonard finished with 16. Guard Ashley Howard had a double-double with a game-high 12 rebounds and 12 points.
The Lady Bisons also placed four players in double figures, the first time more than one player has scored in double figures. Forward Kaleigh Gossman recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounda, the first this season by a Lady Bisons player. Post player Penny Jones and forward Jillian Partin each had 14 points. Woods chipped in with 10, going a perfect 3-for-3 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Freshman forward Miriam McAlister set a team season high and a personal career high with six blocks. She also grabbed seven rebounds and made six assists.
"We are so much better than we were in the first three games," said Bennett. "We just have to learn from the situation. We have to not panic when things happen."
It was the first win in six games for Memphis. The Lady Bisons slipped to 0-4.