Dickson's Career-High 36 Points Powers Tigers to Road Win, 76-74
Nov. 18, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - - Behind a career-high 36 points from senior forward Nicole Dickson, the University of Memphis women's basketball team (2-1) overcame foul trouble and an injury to freshman Mooriah Rowseren route a 76-74 win at Illinois State in the third round of the Preseason WNIT, Sunday.
"What a great game from Nicole Dickson," Head Coach Melissa McFerrinsaid. "We aren't going to get 36 points from her every night, and will need other players to step up and play hard without making mistakes as we go on, but this is a great win over a really good basketball team. And this was a team win, we had a lot of different contributors to get a really good win."
The Tigers led 43-36 at the half behind 19 first half points from Dickson. The game had a ragged start, with both teams combining for four turnovers before the Tigers got on the board behind a Mooriah Rowser jumper. The Tigers then went to work inside, getting 10 straight points from Ann Jones and Dickson to lead 15-13. But Illinois State kept going to the hot hand in the form of sophomore Janae Smith. Smith scored nine straight points to help the Redbirds offset a cold shooting start to the game, and after Rowser left the game with an injury, the home team seized the momentum, going on a 7-0 run to take their first lead. But the lead was short-lived, as freshman Jaymie Jacksoncame off the bench to score six straight points to push Memphis back in front at 27-25 with 7:31 to go.
Those points stopped the bleeding for Memphis, and Dickson, the team's lone senior, took over the last seven points of the half to send Memphis to the locker room up 43-36. Her hot hand continued at the start of the second half as she scored 18 consecutive points between the end of the first half and the start of the second to keep the Tigers out front, at one point stretching the lead to nine at 38-47.
But the home team kept coming back, using some easy buckets inside as the Tigers battled foul trouble in the second half and took a lead at 57-56 with a fastbreak layup from Alexis Foley. But it was the Tiger freshmen who answered that run, as Ariel Hearn and Asianna Fuqua-Beyscored six straight points to put the Tigers back in front at 60-59. But again, fouls hurt the Tigers, as Alexis Jenkins drained two free-throws to go back up.
With the score tied at 64 with 8:06 to go, Dickson, Hearn and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadireach knocked down jumpers to push the Tiger lead to seven at 72-65 with 4:37 to go. But a transition layup from Janae Smith, who finished with a career-high 31 points in the loss, followed by a Candance Sykes triple that didn't even hit the rim as it went in, woke up the crowd and the Redbirds' hopes.
Getting to the free-throw line and drawing fouls on the Tigers in the waning minutes of the game helped the Redbirds trim the deficit to 76-74 with 1:30 to go. The end of the game was a tale of two teams trying to get the ball to the hot hand. Memphis called three timeouts trying to get the ball in Dickson's hands, and the senior did get a shot off with a second left on the shot clock, but it bounced high off the glass and out for a deep rebound. But the Tiger defense was ready on the other end, as the defenders forced Jamie Russell's three point try at the horn to fall short to secure the road win.
Dickson finished with a career-high 36 points and was the lone Tiger to score double-digits. Freshman Jaymie Jacksonadded a career-high eight points off the bench, including three straight buckets to put the Tigers back up in the second half.
Memphis will wrap up the three-game road swing at Texas-Arlington, Wednesday, at 7 p.m. The Tigers return home Sunday to host Prairie View A&M at 2 p.m. Single game tickets for the Prairie View A&M game are available .