JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The University of Memphis women’s basketball team (3-3) went 9:39 in the first half without a point scored, and the first half deficit cost them in an 83-73 loss at East Tennessee State (1-2), Friday.
Things started off well for Memphis in Nicole Dickson’s homecoming, as the Greeneville, Tenn., native scored five of Memphis’ first nine points, pushing the Tigers out to a 9-2 lead. But then the Lady Bucs hit the glass and got out in transition, scoring 23 unanswered points while the Tigers went 9:39 without a point scored, falling behind 27-9 before a Dickson jumper snapped the scoring drought. Memphis, who was out-rebounded 30-20 in the first half, finally found a line-up that could get on the glass and force stops, and slowly starting whittling into what was a 20-point deficit at one point in the first half. After a Dickson three with 1:14 remaining, Memphis had cut the deficit to single digits at 37-28, but Memphis gave up its second buzzer beating three of the season to hit the locker room down 40-28.
The Tigers came out and fell down by 16 with 15:45 to play, forcing Melissa McFerrin to call a timeout after ETSU drilled three three-point field goals in the first eight minutes of the game. But Memphis again tried to mount a comeback, trimming the deficit to 52-42 with 14:27 to play after Ariel Hearn dove on the floor and tipped a loose ball to Asianna Fuqua-Bey for a bucket. The deficit stayed around 10 before ETSU’s Destiny Mitchell went back to work on the glass, holding Memphis to one-and-done looks against a zone defense. Mitchell finished with a game-high 16 rebounds, including 10 defensive.
The Lady Bucs zone collapsed on the Tigers post players, who could not convert inside, and grabbed defensive rebound and got out in transition, where the ETSU guards drove and kicked to open shooters to push the ETSU lead to 77-59 with 4:09 to go.
Memphis kept working on the deficit, whittling it to nine at 82-73, but the Tiger fouls added up as ETSU stepped to the line and knocked down their shots to hold on for their first win of the season.
Dickson finished with 30 points, her third 30-point outing of the first six games of the season for the Tigers. Pa’Sonna Hope added a career-high 13 points, adding 12 rebounds for her first career double-double at Memphis, also adding three blocked shots.
The Tigers will return home for a three-game home stand, beginning Friday with 2012 NCAA participants UALR. The Tigers then host Big 10 foe Illinois, Sunday, at 2 p.m. The game at East Tennessee State is the Tigers’ fourth road game in the last five outings.