Memphis used a total team effort to avenge an 80-77 loss at Houston earlier this season. Four Lady Tigers scored double-digit points against the Cougars--sophomore Shannon Hamp and senior All-america candidate Tiffany Adkins led all scorers with 19 points apiece, while senior Patrice Boyd had her third career double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Malissa Bush rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Memphis led 36-28 at the half after overcoming an eight-point deficit from the beginning of the game. The Cougars attacked the Lady Tiger full court defensive press, but Memphis battled back to tie the game at 16 apiece on an Adkins free-throw. Adkins hit her second free-throw to give Memphis its first lead of the game at 17-16.
"This was a great win," said coach Joye Lee-McNelis. "We did not get off to the start that we wanted, but the big plus was that we rallied and we kept our composure and came back. We really emphasized rebounding because the other night against Texas Pan American, Houston had 68 rebounds. We did a great job on the glass tonight and outrebounded Houston, 49-36."
"I have continued to see an improvement on our turnovers," added McNelis. "We only had 15 turnovers and we really took care of the ball tonight. We had four players in double figures and we had solid movement on our offense. I am proud of how hard we have played and how hard we have worked to keep this run alive."
But Houston came back with a 5-0 run of its own when senior Jessica Shanklin hit a three to tie the game at 19 apiece. On the ensuing trip down the court, Valeria Muoneke went up for one of Houston's seven blocks in the game on a Tiffany Collins' jumper. Muoneke passed the ball to out to Shanklin who found Muoneke for an open jumper and for a Houston lead at 21-19. Houston kept that lead until the 3:23 mark in the first half when Boyd stole the ball and fed Bush for a lay-up that gave Memphis a 25-24 lead that the Lady Tigers did not relinquish the remainder of the game.
Houston's Shanklin and ShaRonda Lasseter led the Cougars with 16 points apiece. Cathy Lisa and Monet Sykes added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Memphis will close out its home season with a 3 p.m. game, Sunday, against South Florida. The afternoon match will also be senior night. Festivities to honor seniors Adkins, Boyd, Collins and Kelly Herron will take place after the game.