Memphis Holds Off ECU, 87-75
Jan. 9, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - A late 10-2 run for East Carolina was not enough to overcome a 12-point second-half deficit Sunday, as Memphis captured an 87-75 Conference USA victory at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates are now 6-9 overall and 0-2 in league play while the Tigers won their 10th-straight game and are now 13-3 and 2-0 in C-USA contests.
Sophomore Ariana Jackson netted 16 points for the second-straight game and led three ECU players in double figures as Crystal Wilson and Kim Gay dropped in 15 and 11, respectively. Gay, along with Ashley Clarke, pulled down a team-high six rebounds each while Clarke dished out six assists.
Jackson was solid from the field, hitting six of eight attempts as well as adding a pair of three-point field goals. Additionally, Jean Best blocked three shots to move into fourth-place on the program career ledger.
The Pirates dropped in 18 of their 38 shots after halftime to produce a 47-percent mark, recovering from a first period in which they missed eight of their first nine attempts before ending 11 for 27 (41 percent). Overall, Memphis knocked down 25 from the field on 60 tries for a 42-percent showing.
The Tigers dominated the glass, pulling down 52 rebounds (21 offensive) and holding East Carolina to 33. Memphis was also awarded 43 free throw attempts on 27 Pirate fouls, converting 28 of those tries into points. The Pirates were able to get the ball inside in the second half due to foul trouble for the Tigers, scoring 26 of their 44 points in the paint in the final 20 minutes. However, Memphis countered by netting 17 of their points off 24 ECU turnovers.
The Tigers scratched the scoreboard first as Alex Winchell nailed a three at the 18:40 mark. From there, Memphis held the Pirates to just two points while racing out to an 11-2 lead with the clock showing 15:20.
A Chareya Smith jumper would eventually cut East Carolina's deficit down to five with 8:06 to play in the first half, but the Tigers responded with a Ramses Lonlack score to push the lead back to seven. Memphis led by as many as nine the rest of the period before Smith drained a jumper in the paint to leave the margin at seven at the break.
Jackson led the Pirate offense with six points in the first 20 minutes, complemented by three assists each from Gay and Celeste Stewart. Gay also grabbed four rebounds during the half while Best recorded all three of her blocks. The Tigers outmuscled ECU down low, grabbing 27 rebounds and scoring eight second-chance points.
The Pirates used an 8-4 run out of the half, capped off by a jumper from Gay, to slice the Memphis lead to 40-36 at the 17:13 mark. However, Brittany Carter knocked down a three on the Tigers' next possession to go back ahead by seven.
The Memphis lead would balloon to 14 when Lonlack hit a pair of free throws with 7:45 remaining, but East Carolina had one more push left.
While holding the Tigers to six points over the next five minutes, the Pirates scored 16 and had a chance to pull within three. However, Gay could not complete a three-point play and Nicole Dickson dropped in a layup on the other end to make it a six-point game with 2:21 remaining. Memphis outscored ECU 11-5 in the final minutes.
The Pirates continue their league season Thursday, traveling to New Orleans for a contest against defending C-USA champion Tulane. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET at Fogelman Arena.