Tulsa Women's Hoops Comes Up Short against Memphis in WNIT First Round, 66-64
March 18, 2004
Memphis - Memphis' Victoria Crawford sank two free throws with 1:25 remaining and the Lady Tigers held off Tulsa, 66-64, in the first round of the 2004 Women's National Invitation Tournament at Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
In its first-ever postseason appearance, Tulsa trailed 66-64 with 0:12 remaining in the contest and had a chance to tie or take the lead on the game's final possession. TU inbounded the ball to sophomore Kara Pongonis on the right side and the second-year guard dribbled to the left side past a double screen. However, Memphis' defenders snuffed out the play and never gave Pongonis a good look at the basket, and her last second heave came never reached the rim.
Tulsa overcame several second half deficits and tied the game five times in the second half. TU regained the lead on a lay-up by junior TaTanisha Wagoner at the 10:56 mark. Both teams then traded the lead before Crawford's jumper gave the home team the lead for good with 5:12 remaining. TU got as close as one point on two free throws from freshman Jillian Robbins, but the Hurricane was unable to regain the lead.
Tulsa concluded the most successful season in school history with a 19-12 overall record, while Memphis advanced to the second round and improved to 21-9 on the year.
Pongonis nailed five three-pointers and led all scorers with 21 points. Robbins notched her ninth career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Emily Jaskowiak finished with 12 points and a game-high 11 boards. Memphis out shot TU, 36.6 percent to 35.7 percent, and out rebounded the Hurricane, 43-42.
Tamika Butler led the Lady Tigers with 18 points, while Crawford added 17 points.
Tulsa and Memphis traded baskets during the early minutes of the first half before the Golden Hurricane reeled off a 12-2 run to take a 10-point, 18-8, lead, its largest of the opening half, at the 12:48 mark. Pongonis ignited the Golden Hurricane offense, scoring 12 of the team's first 14 points.
TU led for a majority of the first half but the Lady Tigers used a relentless full-court press to climb back into the game. Memphis forced 15 Tulsa turnovers in the first half, with a majority of them coming from the press, and converted the TU miscues into 15 points. The Lady Tigers clawed their way back into the game during the closing minutes of the first half and regained the lead on a lay-up by Charity Egenti. Tulsa tied the game at 35-35 on a jumper by sophomore Megan Moody, but Victoria Crawford hit a lay-up at the buzzer to put Memphis ahead by two points at halftime, 37-35.
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