Second-Half Run Lifts Memphis Past Billikens
ST. LOUIS - Mallory Eggert and Lorreal Jones registered 15 points and a game-high-tying eight rebounds apiece, but Memphis took command in the second half and posted a 65-58 victory over Saint Louis Wednesday at Chaifetz Arena.
Memphis improved to 5-5, while SLU fell to 5-6.
Eggert was 6-of-11 from the field, and her team-high five offensive rebounds tied her season high. Jones added a team-high two steals.
Courtney Webb tallied 11 points and six rebounds, while Jenna Mueller grabbed a season-high six boards. Jacy Bradley and Desirae Ball had seven (game high) and four assists, respectively.
Nicole Dickson and Ariel Hearn scored a game-high 17 points apiece for Memphis, which shot 54.2 percent (13-of-24) in the second half. Dickson and Krishunda Harvey collected eight rebounds apiece, with Harvey grabbing a game-high six offensive caroms. Devin Mack added six boards (four offensive) for the Tigers, who earned a 44-39 advantage on the glass.
Lauren McGraw netted 11 points, Ann Jones contributed eight points and five rebounds, and Hearn chipped in five assists and three steals. Dickson had game highs of four steals and three blocks.
Although Memphis had just a 19-17 edge in offensive rebounding, the Tigers enjoyed a 22-11 advantage in second-chance points. Additionally, Saint Louis shot just 35.1 percent from the field and 64 percent from the foul line.
"This was a disappointing loss because I thought our game plan was spot on," head coach Lisa Stone said. "The game came down to three things. One, we gave up too many offensive rebounds and second-chance points. Credit Memphis, they're athletic and they go after the ball. They beat us to a lot of 50-50 balls.
"The other two things which certainly are fixable were our shooting percentages from the free-throw line and the field," Stone said. "We got to the line 25 times but didn't capitalize, and our perimeter shooting was poor as well."
The game was tied at 30 at halftime, and again at 32, 34 and 36 early in the second half. But Ann Jones' layup at the 15:29 mark gave Memphis its first lead of the contest, and the Tigers went on to outscore SLU 17-9 over an almost eight-minute span to lead 53-45.
Memphis owned a nine-point advantage, 57-48, with 3:25 to play. Saint Louis narrowed the gap to five on several occasions, but Hearn was 6-of-6 from the stripe in the final 34 seconds to keep the Tigers in control.
The Billikens made their first six shots, including 3-pointers by Ball and Webb, and led 14-6 with 15:35 to play in the first half.
After Memphis chipped away and pulled even at 22, an 8-2 run put SLU on top 30-24 with 2:54 left. But the Tigers scored the final six points of the half to send the teams to the break deadlocked at 30.
"We took care of the ball and had only 13 turnovers against a really good team that pressures the ball handler," Stone said. "But from starting out as strong as we did to having a big lull in the second half, it was disappointing that we didn't respond. It's something we'll learn from and move on. We need to get back at it, beat Drake and finish 6-6 going into the break."The Billikens play at Drake Friday, Dec. 21, at 5:05 p.m.