-University of Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn.- Memphis (7-5) defeated Missouri (11-3) in dramatic fashion 72-69, Saturday, at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Nicole Dickson sank a jumper with 0.4 on the clock to give Memphis its first win over a Southeastern Conference Opponent since 2003. The Memphis win also snaps a seven-game winning streak for Missouri and gives the Tigers their fourth straight victory.
With Memphis leading 69-63 with under one minute to play, Missouri‘s Bri Kulas sank a trey to cut the Memphis lead to three. Sydney Crafton then followed with a lay-up, inching Missouri to within one. Seconds later, Missouri trapped Ariel Hearn, who threw it into the defenders’ hands. But Memphis’ Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir ran Kulas down, and was charged with a foul. Kulas who sank one of her two free throws to knot the game at 69 with 30 seconds left to play.
In the ensuing Memphis possession, Dickson fought through four defenders, sinking a jumper while drawing a foul as the clock wound down under one second. Dickson then nailed the and-one for what proved to be the final score 72-69.
In the first half, Memphis led by as much as 16 points. The Tigers started the offensive onslaught with a 10-1 run in the first two minutes, kicked off by a trey from Dickson. Pa’Sonna Hope followed with a lay-up to put Memphis up 5-1.
One minute later, Ariel Hearn sank two shots from charity stripe following a foul by Missouri’s Kyley Simmons. Dickson bookended the two-minute scoring flurry with a second trey to put Memphis up 10-1, forcing a Missouri timeout. The Tigers’ leading scorer hit double-digits (13) in the half to lead Memphis.
The first half also saw the return of Abdul-Qaadir to the Memphis rotation. With 9:34 on the clock, Abdul-Qaadir sank a jumper, increasing the Memphis advantage 22-11. The points were the Springfield, Mass., native’s first since sustaining a hand injury against UT-Arlington in the fourth game of the season.
After the first 20 minutes, Memphis led Missouri 39-28. Morgan Eye accounted for 11 of Missouri’s 28 first half points, sinking three treys and a lay-up.
Missouri stormed out of the gate with 10-0 two minute run to start the second half. After attempting 15 three-point field goals in the first half, Missouri started to work inside and run back door. Sydney Crafton found the basket with a lay-up, followed by a Kulas lay-up and a jumper to pull Missouri within five points of Memphis 39-34 advantage. Liz Smith and Crafton then tacked on a pair of lay-ups cutting the Memphis lead to one and forcing a Memphis timeout.
Memphis’s Dickson sank a three to end the run and to spark a 10-2 scoring run. Abdul-Qaadir sank two free-throws, followed by a steal and coast-to-coast lay-up to put Memphis up 46-40. Hearn added another point at the charity stripe, with Jamila Anjanaku adding another two-point bucket to keep Memphis out front 49-40. Memphis held the lead until the final minute of the game, when Missouri’s Kulas knotted the score at 69 on a foul shot.
Dickson led Memphis in points (28) and steals (3) in the contest. Hearn led in assists (4), with Hope leading in blocks (3). For Missouri, Kulas led the way in points (23), with Crafton leading in assists (6) and blocks (2). Crafton, Simmons, Doty and Eye each recorded two steals to lead Missouri.
Missouri knocked down seven threes on the night. They entered the game leading the country in three-point field goals made per game with 10 a night.
Memphis returns to action on New Year’s Eve at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse against Tennessee Tech with tipoff set for 12 p.m. (CT).