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McClure Hits Buzzer-Beater for Win at Memphis

January 2, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Senior Jessica McClure hit a leaner off the glass at the buzzer to give Middle Tennessee an 82-80 overtime victory over Memphis at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Tuesday evening.

With the score tied at 80 and time winding down in the extra period, freshman Patrice Holmes drove toward the lane. Holmes lost the ball on her dribble, but got on the floor after the loose ball, gathered it and fed McClure from her posterior. The 5-6 guard took one dribble and banked a short jumper for the game-winner.

The Lady Raiders trailed the game near the end of regulation with UM's Shannon Hamp going to the foul line for a one-plus-one with 18.8 seconds remaining. Hamp missed the free throw, McClure grabbed a long rebound and headed the other direction, driving to the basket for a lay-up that knotted the score at 73 with 13.3 seconds. The bucket was McClure's first points of the game, and she scored six of Middle Tennessee's nine points in overtime.

The contest had 17 lead changes and eight ties and neither team held more than a five-point lead in the final 35 minutes of the game. Memphis started fast and led 20-12 eight minutes into the game. But the Lady Raiders went on a 13-4 run over the next five minutes that included a pair of three-pointes from freshman Tiffany Fisher, who netted a team-high 19 that included five trifectas.

Neither team led by more than three the rest of the half, and the Lady Raiders held a 39-38 edge at the break thanks in large part to 12 points from Fisher off the bench. Both squads had 11 assists and 11 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, and both shot 56 percent or better from the field.

The Lady Tigers took a quick one-point lead to open the second half on a lay-up by Melissa Abraham, but Fisher put Middle Tennessee back into the lead with a baseline jumper. Keisha McClinic's three-pointer from the corner gave the Lady Raiders a 48-43 advantage at the 17:14 mark of the half, the biggest lead for either team the rest of the way.

The Lady Raiders had the lead almost the entire second half until Hamp, who had a game-high 26 points that included 19 after halftime, hit a short jumper in the lane with 1:57 to play in the contest, giving Memphis a 73-71 lead. Neither team scored again until McClure's lay-up in the final seconds sent the game into overtime.

In the extra period, McClure made all four free throw attempts and Fisher added one foul shot to give Middle Tennessee a five-point edge midway through the overtime. Abraham and Hamp each had buckets on back-to-back possessions and Aesha Carter made one-of-two foul shots with 52 seconds remaining to tie the game again.

Jamie Thomatis made two free throws before Raven Rogers made a nice move down the baseline for her only points of the game to knot the game at 80 with 26.5 ticks on the clock.

Holmes then took her drive to the basket before McClure's game-winning shot.

Fisher's 19 led four players in double figures for the Lady Raiders, with Thomatis adding 16, Joanne Aluka 14 and Holmes 12. Fisher also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, four on the offensive end, while Thomatis added five boards.

Hamp's scored a game-high 26 on 11-for-17 shooting from the floor, as the Lady Tigers shot 56 percent from the field, the first team this season to shoot better than 50 percent against the Lady Raiders. Abraham had 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Carter added 10 points off the bench.

The win was Middle Tennessee's first against the Lady Tigers since January of 1994 and the first on the road against Memphis since December of 1992.

The Lady Raiders step back into conference play this Saturday with a 2 p.m. contest against Florida International at the Murphy Center.

GAME NOTES
FISHER SETS ANOTHER CAREER-HIGH: Freshman Tiffany Fisher scored a career-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 5-for-8 from three-point range. The Jackson, Tenn., native also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds in the contest and added two assists in 27 minutes of action.

THOMATIS CONTINUES UP CAREER LISTS: Senior Jamie Thomatis continued her climb up the Middle Tennessee career records list against Memphis, moving up three lists in the overtime win. Thomatis grabbed five boards in the game to give her 584 career caroms, moving her into 13th on the all-time list, surpassing Sherry Tucker (1992-95). The Destrehan, La., native went 4-for-4 from the foul line, moving her into third all-time on the free throws made list, passing Kim Webb (1984-87) and giving her 385 career foul shots made. The Ursuline Academy product also moved alone into fourth place on the free throws attempted list, breaking a tie with Jennifer McFall (1982-85) and giving her 479 career free throw attempts.

MCCLURE MOVES TOWARD TOP OF STEALS LIST: Senior Jessica McClure had a pair of steals in the contest against Memphis, moving her past Priscilla Robinson (1991-94) and into sixth all-time with 195 career thefts.

This -N' That: Tiffany Fisher sets career-highs in points, rebounds, FG made, FG attempts, 3-pt. FG made, 3-pt. FG attempts, FT made, FT attempts and minutes played against the Tigers - Tiffany Fisher made a team season-high five three-pointers against the Lady Tigers. No other Lady Raider had made more than three trifectas in a contest this season - The Lady Raiders moved to 6-1 this season when leading at the half - The 82 points was a season-high for the Lady Raiders, passing the previous mark of 78 at Austin Peay on November 27 - The Lady Raiders won a game giving up 80 points for the first time since defeating Western Kentucky, 85-83, on February 1, 2001 - The overtime win was the first for the Lady Raiders since defeating UNLV, 85-82, on December 6, 1997, at the Las Vegas Club Shootout - Memphis shot 56 percent from the floor in the contest, the first opponent to shoot better than 50 percent from the field this season and the first since Western Kentucky made 60 percent of its field goals on February 1, 2001 - Jamie Thomatis scored in double figures for the 26th straight game with her 16 points at Memphis, the 56th time in the last 57 Lady Raider games and the 83rd time in her career - Jamie Thomatis started her 51st straight game dating to the 1999-00 season - Paula Penttila started her 11th straight game this season and the 38th in the last 41 Lady Raider games - Joanne Aluka started against Memphis, the first start for the senior since the December 9 game against Tennessee Tech, a span of five contests - The 39 first-half points for the Lady Raiders were the most this season in the first half for the squad - After not playing an overtime game for more than three seasons, the Lady Raiders have now played three extra period contests in the first six weeks of the 2001-02 campaign, compiling a 1-2 record - Joanne Aluka scored 14 points against the Lady Tigers, her first double-figure scoring game since netting 16 versus Ole Miss on December 1 of this season. It was her fourth double-digit scoring game of the season - Paula Penttila played just 20 minutes against Memphis, her least amount of playing time this season - Jessica McClure tied a season-high with eight points - Jennifer Justice had started five straight games until missing a start against the Lady Tigers, her first non-start since December 9 against Tennessee Tech - Patrice Holmes tied a season-high with three assists - Jamie Thomatis tied a season-high with four steals.

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