March 8, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (SMU) - Akil Simpson posted her second double-double of the postseason and ninth of the year with 11 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to lift SMU over Memphis as the Tigers (24-6) eliminated the Mustangs (14-17) from the Conference USA Championship with a 77-67 win in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Thursday.
Samantha Mahnesmith led the Mustangs with 15 points and finished her career tied for fifth at SMU with 128 3-pointers, going 3-for-6 from behind the arc Thursday. Krystal Johnson was 4-of-9 from the field for a career-high 11 points. Christine Elliott added eight points with four rebounds.
The Mustangs opened the first half connecting on five of their first 12 shots, including both 3-point attempts, while holding Memphis to just 3-of-13 from the field over the first eight minutes for a 14-13 lead with 11:44 left. The Tigers responded with an increase in defensive pressure to close the half on a 7-1 run to take a 30-27 lead into the locker room.
With Alisha Filmore missing the last 29 minutes of the game after suffering an injury in a collision with Ramses Lonlack, the Tigers took advantage in the second half. Memphis scored 12 points on eight SMU turnovers and had eight fast break points in the final 20 minutes. Nicole Dickson scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half, and Brittany Carter scored 10 of her game-high 18 points after the break.
The Tigers stretched the lead to 15 with 10:32 left in the game, but the Mustangs never quit. Mahnesmith sandwiched a Raven Short 3-pointer with a pair of 3's as SMU went on a 9-1 run to cut the lead to seven, 59-52 with 8:38 left, but Dickson hit a three to answer and give the momentum back to the Tigers. Memphis scored eight points at the free throw line in the last 4:05 to keep the advantage.
Short finished with six points, and Filmore scored five points in 10 minutes. Brittany Hardy had five points with six rebounds, and Destynee Hives-McCray pulled down five rebounds. The Mustangs shot 40.0 percent for the game. Memphis shot 52.0 percent in the second half to finish at 39.0 percent for the game.