Ashley Clark scored 17 points, while three others posted double figures in a 65-62 win over Memphis on Tuesday night at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse in Memphis, Tenn. TU moved to 15-12 on the season and 10-6 in the American Athletic Conference, while the Tigers fell to 13-14 overall and 7-9 in the league.
“The reason we have Ashley Clark coming off the bench is because she has been so successful when she enters the game,” Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. “She is one of the most competitive kids we have. I know this game was really important to her. I think she above anybody understands what it will take to be a top-five seed.”
Kelsee Grovey added 13 points, Mariah Turner tallied 12 points and Brady posted 10 points. Clark also recorded a team-best eight rebounds, while Turner and Teanna Reid both had seven boards, and Reid registered five assists.
The Tigers cut their deficit from 10-points to start the half to just five points (48-43) at the 11:23 mark. Memphis took their first lead of the second frame on a jumper by Brianna Wright to make the score 60-59 with 3:01 left to play.
The lead changed hands twice in the following 36 seconds and then Turner hit two free throws at the 1:10 mark to give Tulsa a 63-62 advantage.
Both teams turned over the basket and with 27-seconds left, Tulsa had the ball and Grovey was fouled with just 19-seconds remaining. Unfortunately, Grovey missed the first of a one-and-one and the Tigers rebounded the ball. Ariel Hearn missed a jumper, Clark rebounded the ball and was immediately fouled by Hearn with just 2.4 seconds left. Clark scored both free throws to put Tulsa up 65-62 and a last-second shot by Taylor Williams was unsuccessful.
Tulsa had a 37-28 advantage in rebounds, while Memphis had a 5-1 lead in blocks. Both teams finished with 17 assists and six steals, while the Tigers had just 13 turnovers to TU's 17.
Tulsa shot 42-percent from the field, 38-percent from three-point range and 77-percent from the charity stripe, while Memphis shot 44-percent from the field, 35-percent from behind the arc and 70-percent from the free throw line.
The Tigers were led by Mooriah Rowser with 17 points, while Hearn posted 16 points and Asianna Fuqua-Bey had 12 points. Wright pulled down eight rebounds and Hearn had six assists.
“When a team has a player like Hearn, no deficit is too large,” Mossman said. “Even in foul trouble, Ariel did everything she could to get a win, but I am proud of the way our players guarded her. She is going to get her points, but our defense made it extremely tough for her.”
Tulsa jumped out to a 6-0 lead over Memphis at the 17:59 mark and hit four of their first five shots for an 11-7 advantage with 15:56 on the clock. The Tigers took their first lead of the contests, 14-13, at the 15:18 mark, but a three-pointer by Grovey with 13:34 on the clock tied the contest at 16-all.
The Golden Hurricane climbed to a first-half best 12-point advantage (34-22) at 4:59 and took a 10-point lead (36-26) into the break.
TU shot 51-percent from the field, including 57-percent from behind the arc, and 66-percent from the charity stripe, while Memphis shot just 33-percent from the field, 37-percent from three-point range and 75-percent from the free throw line.
Tulsa will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 28 against Tulane. Game time is set for 2:00 pm at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.