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Memphis Defeats UTSA 60-53, Keeps Top 5 Conference Seed Hopes Alive


The Memphis Women's Basketball team defeated the UTSA Roadrunners Wednesday night to come away with their 4th consecutive conference win, securing a three way tie between them, UTSA and SMU for 10th in the ever so tight AAC conference race.

Memphis (12-15, 8-8) came into the fieldhouse off an impressive 54-44 road win over the Tulane Green Wave, just a game and a half back from 4th in the conference behind UAB and Charlotte.

UTSA (14-13, 8-8) went on the road following a great 76-60 win over FAU looking to create a 4 way tie for 4th place between them, UAB, Charlotte and Temple (all who are 9-7 in conference play).

It was a game of runs, as both teams struggled to maintain an consistent offensive flow throughout the game. In the first quarter, both teams missed the majority of their shots within the first 5 minutes of the game. Memphis stayed in the quarter by getting to the line 3 times, whereas UTSA took an 8-3 lead up until the 6:53 mark when Tiger F Alasia Smith layed one in to secure the Tigers first field goal of the game.

Both teams shot under 40% from the field in the quarter (UTSA 6-16 37%, Memphis 5-16 31%), and UTSA led 14-13 at the end of the first. Memphis' defense kept the game at bay, bringing in 4 steals and 2 blocks.

Memphis started the second quarter strong, with F Hannah Riddick scoring quick using her size to drive in the lane and lay it in. 23 seconds into the Roadrunners first possesion, Kai Carter came away with the steal and found guard Destyne Jackson in the paint and Memphis took the lead. They had a much more efficient quarter, shooting 6-14 from the field and continued their great defensive play coming away with 2 more steals along with 3 more blocks. They went into the half up 29-23

Alasia Smith had an all around good first half, putting up 8 points( 3-4 from the field) and 6 rebounds along with 2 blocks and a steal. UTSA continued their offensive struggles, shooting an inefficient 5-15 from the field along with 6 turnovers and no assists in the quarter.

Things flipped once again in the 3rd quarter, and UTSA tied the game within their first 2 possesions off a layup from C Idara Udo and a pull up three from G Kyra White. Maddie Griggs made her first 3 of the game at the 7:30 mark, and the Tigers went on a 7-0 run from there looking as if they were about to take control of the game. At one point, they led 38-33.

However, Memphis struggled to score for the remainder of the quarter due to bad shots and unforced turnovers and at one point went a whole 3:06 without scoring a single point. The Roadrunners gained momentum off the Tigers mistakes, and went on an 8-0 run to take a one point lead, but Kiari Cain and Riddick both went 1-2 from the line to help the Tigers end the quarter up 42-41

UTSA scored first in the 4th, but Memphis took control off a step back mid range jumper from Griggs shortly after and never surrendered their lead for the remainder of the game. UTSA couldn't match the Tigers offense, being outscored 18-10 in the quarter.

Riddick helped her team close out and secure the win, hitting all 4 of her free throws and lead the Tigers in scoring for the quarter with 6 points.

Smith was dominant on the glass with 7 of her 17 rebounds coming in the 4th quarter. She finished the game with 12 points (5-9 from the field), 17 rebounds, along with 2 blocks and 2 steals. She was arguably the best player on the court last night.

Memphis will look to push its win streak to 5 against a good UAB team (18-10, 4-4) at home on Saturday at 2pm. With the conference race so tight, the Tigers could enter the top 5 if things continue to go their way in the conference standings.

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