MEMPHIS — Jasmine Lee grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a putback with 6.2 seconds left Thursday night to lift Memphis to a 60-59 win over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the first round of the Women’s NIT.
Lee, a Georgia transfer and the Conference USA player of the year, was more than the Lady Mocs could handle. She registered her 16th double-double of the season, finishing with 20 points and 16 rebounds in a hard-fought game at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
UTC coach Wes Moore said the game “was kind of a microcosm” of the season.
“We were close but just couldn’t finish it off,” he said.
UTC (22-10) got off to a fast start and led by 16 in the first half. The lead was 37-29 at halftime, but Memphis (25-7) quickly drew even in the second. A Lee layup made it 39-33 with 18:19 remaining, and that was followed by two UTC misses and a turnover and three Memphis layups. That spurt tied the game at 39 with 16:15 to play, and it was tight the rest of the way.
The game was tied at 55 when Lee was fouled with 3:48 remaining. She hit one of two free throws to give the Tigers their first lead, 56-55, since a 2-0 advantage in the first minute.
Taylor Hall hit a jumper to put UTC back in front, but a Lee layup but the Tigers up 58-57 with 1:10 to play. Whitney Hood, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds in her final appearance in a UTC jersey, put the Lady Mocs up one more time, 59-58, with 40 seconds left.
Hall fouled Nicole Dickson with 18 seconds left and Dickson missed the front end of the 1-and-1. The loose ball went out of bounds and was ruled to have gone off a Lady Moc, which gave the Tigers another chance at the win.
Dickson missed a jumper and Lee, who finished with 11 offensive rebounds, scored on the putback for the win.
“All we had to do was box her out a time or two,” Moore said, “and it’s probably a different story.”
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...