Just the Facts, Ma'am: The Memphis Tigers put the pedal to the metal and never looked back in an 86-67 win over the Lady Techsters of Louisiana Tech. Brittany Carter led all scorers with 24 points, while Jasmine Lee put in 23 for Memphis. Louisiana Tech got 16 points and 10 rebounds from Shantale Bramble-Donaldson.
For emptiness, awkwardness, team colors, and a ball of confusion, join your intrepid and sleepless blogger after the jump.
So then everyone left. The end.
I'm mostly kidding, but there's something painful about the neutral game in a hosted tournament. At least with the home team playing, you get the atmosphere of a game. But when the band packs up to go home and the cheerleaders put on real clothes and the bulk of the crowd leaves, things get quiet, and a little depressing. You can hear the referees communicating, the voices from the bench, everything.
Liberty fans, I am disappointed. You were enticed with the promise of Teresa Weatherspoon, and where were you? Shopping? You could shop tomorrow. Lucky you, the awkward choice doesn't have to be made.
We could have ended up with an awkward situation if both the family of Memphis guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaddir and the family of one of the Louisiana Tech assistants had stayed in our section. But the Memphis folks moved along behind the road bench, and we scared off the Louisiana Tech family. I'm okay with that. I like my space to yell at the refs.
There's something very 21st-century about hijab accompanied by a Memphis supporters' scarf.
I was more impressed with Memphis than I was expecting, but then, I've been skeptical of Memphis since around the time Tamika Whitmore gave up on being a consistent player. So sue me. I hold grudges sometimes. They play a lot taller than they are, and they're fast.
Lauren McGraw had a tendency to play a bit out of control- lots of fun flash, but a lot of moving faster than she was ready for. Danay Collier got a fair bit of playing time in her homecoming, but I can't recall much of what she did- I was surprised to find she had played that much, to be honest. Ann Jones came off the bench as sixth woman in the first half and showed a little touch, though the illegal screen she drew as one of her first moves was not exactly a promising portent. McFerrin only threw in most of her bench near the end of the game, so they weren't in a position to do anything exciting or interesting.
Jasmine Lee impressed me, though I can see the flaws in her game. Her stamina and conditioning could stand some improvement, but I like her instincts. She worked hard in the paint. Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir ran a nice offense- she's small, but she's effective, and fast. Brittany Carter's athleticism impressed me- she had a resounding block that we could hear on the other side of the court. Nicole Dickson displayed a little range, but also athleticism. I was most intrigued by senior guard Ramses Lonlack- she plays a lot taller than she is, and she has the footwork of a soccer player. Control wasn't great, but Memphis seems to like to play fast and frenetic.
Spoon, give Sophia back her 1999/2000 hair. Some things just aren't right.
Louisiana Tech went deep into their bench- everyone played at least five minutes, but I don't think Savanna Langston's five minutes were terribly impactful. Tavasha Anderson moves well for a big girl. Kanedria Andrews got into a lot of plays late in the game, but I think they were expecting her to do a lot more earlier in the game. Kiara Young brought speed, and offense, but not much else.
It's probably for the best that Courtney Hayes didn't do anything of note, because somehow she didn't make it onto the roster that St. John's printed up. So now I'm confused and don't know anything about her. Jasmine Bendolph showed a nice stroke, but I think she might be having back problems- she looked a little pained, and I thought I saw a heating pad come off her during one timeout when she was about to check in. Shantale Bramble-Donaldson did a good job establishing position down low, but Memphis was able to make her less of a factor in the second half. Whitney Jones can play- nothing spectacular, but a nice all around game from her.
Ah, the peril of double-headers when I can't bring the computer to the game. Things get vague, especially when people keep distracting me.
My husband/viewing partner/distraction pointed out that Louisiana Tech threw a lot of high passes, and wondered whether there's just that little height in the WAC. They were fast, and had great ball movement, but I'm not sure whether they are really her team yet. They made a lot of stupid mistakes and couldn't hit a lot of easy shots. I expected a lot better out of them, and maybe they were just off their game today. We'll see more tomorrow. Or today. Time travel tense trouble here.
The officiating bothered me- not necessarily because of the quality of the calls, but because it looked like they weren't sure who was the crew chief. Spence and Aliberti got into a debate early in the game.
Crowning Moment of Funny: Shantale Bramble-Donaldson grabs a rebound. Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir rips it out of her hands cleanly and promptly falls over on the endline. The whistle blows. Teresa Weatherspoon explodes, charging off the sideline to protest the call. The funny part? It was a travel on Memphis for Abdul-Qaadir rolling with the ball. Nothing says WTF like screaming bloody blue murder at a ref who's making a call in your favor... even as your team inbounds the ball.
Hello, Chris, you poor unfortunate bastard! Did you miss us? Because we miss you. I have no idea whether anything did go on at Taffner Field House; we had a long walk home to look forward to.
Tomorrow's matchups will be fun, and Lordie, do I wish Cynthia Cooper was still at Prairie View right about now.