Nov. 7, 1999
MEMPHIS, TENN. - The University of Memphis Lady Tiger basketball team survived a close call in overtime against a Houston Flight squad that looked unusually good for an exhibition opponent, before prevailing 88-86.
The Lady Tigers looked a little shaky in the beginning but managed to pull together in the second half. Pacing the team was freshman Shannon Hamp, who had a stellar collegiate debut shooting 10-for-18 for 23 points. She also pulled down seven rebounds in just 23 minutes of action. Sophomore Malissa Bush shot 8-for-21 and added 20 points to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds.
"What a game," said head coach Joye Lee-McNelis. "I am glad we didn't go into another overtime, that's for sure. I thought that tonight you could see a lot of transition time of having to adapt in actual game situations without a Tamika Whitmore. I think very early, we did a lot of standing, a lot of looking and not attacking the glass.
"Then Shannon Hamp and Malissa Bush stepped up and did a great job," added McNelis. "The two of them were definitely players of the game. Bush is a sophomore and Hamp is a freshman, and that is always encouraging to a team when you have two young players step up and play as well as they did."
Also scoring in double figures for the Lady Tigers were sophomores Lauren Jackson and Melissa Abraham who scored 12 points and 10 points, respectively. Abraham recorded a double-double with her 10 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Yolanda Reed dished out a team-high nine assists while adding six points.
For the Houston Flight, Debra Williams led the way with 25 points, including 7- for-12 shooting from behind the arc. Shantell Hardison added 12 rebounds and Chontell Reynolds put up 11 points to round out the team.
The Lady Tigers will play their final exhibition contest on Friday, Nov. 12. Memphis will host the Mississippi All-Stars, and tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. The U of M opens the regular season on the road with a 5 p.m. meeting with Ole Miss in Oxford on Nov. 19. The Lady Tigers will return to the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on Nov. 22 when they host Austin Peay State.