MEMPHIS 74, WICHITA STATE 58
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Wichita State (18-15) fell behind early and held No. 1-seed Memphis scoreless for the final 5:15 of the first half, but it wasn't enough as the Shockers fell, 74-58, Sunday afternoon inside Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Haleigh Lankster led the Shockers with 15 points while Jazimen Gordon recorded her third double-double of the sesaon with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers got off to a quick start behind Carter, who raced down the floor after the opening tip for a layup and was fouled. The old-fashioned 3-point play started a 7-0 run that included a 3-pointer from Alex Winchell.
But the Shockers responded with a 6-0 run of their own with baskets from Lankster, Boyd and Johnson. UM stretched its lead, however, going on a 26-6 run to push the lead to 21.
WSU started to chip away at the lead with pressure defense and an attacking offense. West Memphis, Ark., native Jazimen Gordon set the tone by crashing the boards and drawing fouls. Gordon scored six points, four of which came at the free throw line, in a two minute stretch to pull WSU closer.
The Shocker defense clamped down and held the Tigers scoreless for the final 5:15, and without a field goal for the final 7:39 of the half.
WSU took advantage of the UM drought, rattling off a 17-2 run to end the half and trail 37-31 at halftime.
UM extended the lead in the early minutes of the second half when Carter hit her first 3-pointer of the game.
Lankster responded with a 3-pointer of her own, but baskets by Chatia Kelsey and Starkitsha Luellen-Higgins pushed the lead to 10, 55-45, with just more than 11 minutes to play.
Just when it looked like the Shockers had another run in them Winchell calmly knocked down two more 3-pointers, the second of which pushed the UM lead back to 18.
Gordon, like her teammates, continued to play hard and scored seven of nine points for the Shockers in a second half stretch.
WSU went cold from the field, however, and was held scoreless for just less than five minutes, allowing the Tigers to build its lead and come away with the 74-58 win.
The loss ends one of the most successful seasons in Shocker history. WSU's 18 wins is the most since the 1999-00 team won 20. In addition, the Shockers came away with their first postseason win last Thursday and earlier in the season set a school record for home wins with 14.