MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
The Trojans got defensive and the Tigers did not have an answer.
UALR (8-1) is off to its best start in history as Memphis
(3-4) tallied a season-low in a 56-44 win for the Trojans Friday night (Dec. 7)
at Elma Roane Field House in Memphis.
The Trojans tamed the Tigers as Memphis only hit 27% (17-63)
from the field. The seventh leading-scorer in the nation (23.3 points per game),
Nicole Dickson of UM, was held to 10 points on 4-19 shooting. She did not score
her first points of the game until under three minutes left in the first.
Individually, UALR was led by senior Janette Merriex with 17 points on 7-15 shooting, including 3-6 from
beyond the arc. Sophomore Taylor Gault
contributed 16 points. Both Merriex and Gault added a pair of blocks.
Sophomore Kiera Clark
came off the bench for a team-high eight boards.
For Memphis, Pa'Sonna Hope scored 14 with a double-double
from Dickson (10 points and 10 rebounds). Ariel Hearn contributed 10 points.
A 14-6 run in the middle of the first half opened up a
cushion for UALR. Tied at six, junior Hannah Fohne fought for a defensive rebound and came down to the other end and hit
a baby hook on the left block to ignite the spurt. After a UALR stop, Gault drove under the hoop and put in a
reverse lay-up for the 10-6 UALR lead with 12:54 left. Memphis scored, but Merriex connected from beyond the arc on the
left elbow and sophomore Taylor Ford split
from the charity stripe and connected on a triple of her own for the UALR 17-8
Memphis cut it to 17-10 with 11:17 left but then went more
than four minutes without a bucket as UALR's Merriex went on a 5-0 run. She hit
a three and a jumper from the left elbow with her foot just on the line. The
Tigers cut the deficit to six with 1:25 remaining before a jumper by Merriex slowed
the home team's momentum and gave the Trojans a 28-20 lead into the locker
It was the second-straight first half on the road UALR held
its opponents to 20 points.
Merriex hit 5-11 in the first half, including 2-5 from
downtown, to lead all scorers with 12 for the stanza. Memphis won the battle of
the boards 26-23, but UALR made 12-35 (34.3 percent) from the field and held Memphis
to 27.8 percent (10-36).
UALR saw its lead diminish to 37-33 with 14 minutes left,
but an 8-0 run by the Trojans pushed the advantage back to double-digits. Gault
started the spurt with a left-wing jumper followed by freshman Shanity James cleaning the offensive
glass and getting the putback. The Tigers missed a pair from the field and
Merriex hit another triple, this time from the top of the arc. Ford split from
the charity stripe as UALR built a 45-33 lead with 9:09 left.
With five minutes left and UALR holding a 49-37 advantage,
Memphis scored five thanks to a Hope free throw and jumper followed by a
Dickson field goal. Gault answered with a three and UALR made 4-5 down the
stretch from the line to close out the 12-point win.
UALR takes more than a week off before it returns to action
next Tuesday (Dec. 18) when it hosts Tulsa for the final home game of 2012. The
Trojans beat the Golden Hurricane 73-64 to open up the season.