Memphis Sprints Past Grambling State in Preseason WNIT Opener
Nov. 9, 2012
MEMPHIS - - Led by 20-plus point nights from Nicole Dickson and Mooriah Rowser, the University of Memphis women's basketball team (1-0) sprinted past Grambling State (0-1), 92-42, in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT, Friday.
Memphis got out to a quick start, blazing out of the gates and hitting seven of their first eight shots, including six points from Rowser, one of two Memphis freshmen to appear in the starting line-up. Memphis cooled off from the field a bit from there, but were able to lean on their defense, forcing Grambling State into 21 first half turnovers and to 22.7 percent from the field.
The Tigers used their depth off the bench to keep Grambling at bay in the second half, getting scoring from 10 of the 12 players who played in the game and keeping the tempo up. Rowser finished with a game-high 24 points, while Dickson drained three treys in a 20-point night. Pa'Sonna Hopewas the third Memphis player in double figures as she scored 10 points off the bench. The 12-for-20 shooting performance for Rowser was the sixth-most field goals scored by a Memphis freshman in school history.
Freshman Ariel Hearn led Memphis with 12 assists, becoming the first Tiger guard to dish out double-digit assists since Bilqis Abdul-Qaadirdid it last year in a win at Southern Miss. Those 12 assists are the second-most number of single game assists for a Memphis freshman, behind Ruth Ann Forsythe's 15 in 1984. Memphis' defense allowed 42 points on the game, the fewest in a season-opener for an opponent since Mercer scored 40 in the 2004-05 opener. The 50-point win is the largest margin of victory in an opener since defeating UALR 103-45 in 1978.
Grambling State was led in scoring by Dayla Threatt, who finished with 11 points, including eight from the free-throw line. Memphis out-rebounded Grambling State, 49-31.
Memphis advances to the second round of the Preseason WNIT, and will play, Sunday, at Middle Tennessee at 2 p.m. That game will air on ESPN3.com.