Tuesday afternoon, the University of Memphis women’s basketball team took on the ECU Pirates in the Conference USA quarterfinals at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, OK. Having been swept by the Pirates in both of their regular season contests, the Tigers hoped to bounce back with a win to keep their season alive. Unfortunately for Coach McFerrin’s Tigers, they fell short against the Pirates, 66-73, ending their hopes of a birth into the NCAA Tournament.
In what was a tough-fought contest, the Tigers were led by Brittany Carter who finished the game with 29 points (10-of-20 shooting), 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Freshman Nicole Dickson chipped in 10 points while senior LaToya Bullard filled up the stat sheet with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. ECU took a double-digit lead over the Tigers in the second half, but the Tigers stormed back to take a lead with under 10 minutes remaining behind Carter’s stellar play.
ECU continued their balanced attack as Memphis made their run, pulling back ahead for good with under four minutes to play. ECU’s offensive attack against the Tigers was across the board with 9 total players scoring, led by Celeste Stewart. ECU had two players in double-digits followed closely by three others who were one point shy of double-digits.
For the Tigers, their season-long problems with free-throws reared its ugly head once again. The Tigers finished the game hitting only 13-of-23 free throw attempts (56.6%). Also limiting the Tigers was their short bench. Memphis had only 4 points off the bench while ECU was able to tally 32 points from their bench.
The Tigers finish their season at 17-13 (10-7 C-USA). Despite their first-game loss in the C-USA Tournament, Melissa McFerrin and squad have a myriad of reasons to hold their head high. Slowly but surely turning this Memphis program into a winner, the Tigers have come a long way since McFerrin took over the reigns. Memphis will now wait for an invitation from either the Women’s NIT or the WBI.Google+