Jan. 7, 2012
Memphis at UTEP Notes
Where to See/Hear it:
Fans in Memphis can hear Jeff Brightwell's call of the game on WUMR, 91.7 FM.
The game will also air live on the Fox Sports Network. Due to the different regional Fox Sports channels, fans can click here here and enter their zip code and service provider to see which Fox Sports Network channel in their area will be carrying the game (Look for Sunday, 1/8 at Noon CT).
Road Warrior January Slate on Hand
It's a rough schedule to the start of the conference schedule for Memphis, who is playing three of their first five league games on the road. To date, Memphis is 1-3 in road games on the season and those first three conference road games include Southern Miss and UAB, both places where the Tigers lost last season. Memphis will be on the road for three of the four Sundays in the month of January (at UTEP, home vs. ECU,. at UAB, at ECU) with just three C-USA home games during the entire month of January.
Memphis will rely on its experience-filled roster to handle the road ventures. Memphis is 11-13 in C-USA road games since Melissa McFerrin took over the program prior to the 2008-09 season.
Tigers on the C-USA trail
Tigers vs. UTEP
This is the eighth meeting between Memphis and UTEP. The Miners lead the overall series, 5-2, including a 60-55 win at Memphis last season that snapped Memphis' 18-game home winning streak in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. That game also marked the first game the Tigers were aware of Brittany Carter's stress fracture in her foot. Carter played just six minutes in last year's meeting, trying to play on her foot, but finding herself unable to go.
Inching Toward Program Win #700
This is the 40th season since women's basketball returned to Memphis as a varsity sport. The team is currently just nine wins shy of the program's 700th overall victory. Heading in to the UTEP game, Memphis is 691-506 overall. The current season's 78.6 percent winning percentage is the third-highest winning percentage of any Tiger squad and is the highest since the 1981-82 team finished 26-5 overall (83.9 percent). That 83.9 percent is the best winning percentage for any Tiger squad in the program's 39-year history.
Lonlack Three Points Shy of 1,000 Points, 500 Rebounds, 250 Steals Mark
Senior guard Ramses Lonlack is trying to become just the sixth player in Memphis women's basketball history to have over 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds and 250 steals. Lonlack already has the steals and rebounds marks passed (556 rebounds, 257 steals heading in to the Tulane game) and is now just three points shy of her 1,000th career point. Only five other players in Memphis' 39-year-history have had 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 250 steals:
Betty Booker (1976-80): 2,835 points, 628 rebounds, 360 steals
Keeta Matthews (1992-96): 2,133 points, 926 rebounds, 282 steals
Linda McKinnie (1977-82): 2,000 points, 831 rebounds, 337 steals
Kim Duppins (1978-82): 1,835 points, 1,163 rebounds, 281 steals
Kitty Allen (1993-97): 1,823 points, 559 rebounds, 289 steals
Carter Moves to Top 15 in Career Scoring
Brittany Carter scored just eight points in the win over Tulane after a tough shooting night, but those eight points got her exactly to 1,300 career points in the three seasons at Memphis.
Carter is now just 229 points shy of breaking in to the Memphis career top 10 in scoring, despite missing a full season's worth of scoring (as a freshman at Georgia) and missing five games last year with a stress fracture in her foot. No other Tiger has broke in to the career top 10 in scoring in less than four years of eligibility.
Abdul-Qaadir Sets School Consecutive Free Throws Record
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir hit a bucket-and-one in the win over Tulane. The free throw she made was her 25th straight make from the line. Her last miss from the stripe was the front end of a one-and-one with 2:24 remaining in the game in the win over Belmont (Nov. 13) in the Tigers' second game of the season. After having no free-throw tries at Illinois or against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the sophomore has hit everything since, improving to 27-for-28 on the season from the stripe.
The previous record of 24 was held by Devin Necaise. Necaise hit 24 straight free-throws before a miss at UAB. She went on that same season to set a school record for free-throw percentage (90.9), that she broke a season later (96.6). For this season, Abdul-Qaadir is shooting 96.4 percent from the line.
Front Line of Dickson and Lee Also Pass Benchmark Points
Junior forward Nicole Dickson and Jasmine Lee also passed some career benchmark point marks in the win over Tulane. Lee, who finished with 21 points against Tulane, pushed past the 600 points mark and now has 615 in her second season as a Tiger, while Dickson used her 16 points to move past the 800-point mark and now has 810 heading in to the UTEP game.
Dickson will likely be the next Tiger (following Ramses Lonlack) to hit the 1,000 career point mark. With 11 regular season conference games remaining and at least one conference tournament game on the schedule, Dickson would need to average 15.8 ppg to become the third Tiger on this year's roster to have over 1,000 career points.
The only time a Memphis team had three 1,000 point scorers on the same roster was the 1995-96 season (LaTonya Johnson, Keeta Matthews, Kitty Allen).
- Nicole Dickson has shot 55.6 percent from the field in the last two Memphis wins (15-for-27). The junior has also connected on 6-of-12 three-point field goal attempts in those two games. Now the question is whether Dickson can pack that hot hand for a road game. In Memphis' last road game, Dickson shot just 21.4 percent from the field and was 2-for-7 from three-point range.
- After shooting 26.2 percent from the field in the first three games, Brittany Carter shot 58.8 percent from the field during Memphis' seven-game win streak. In the last four games, Carter has shot 28.2 percent. Carter offset the tough shooting night from the field against Seton Hall with a season-high 11 free-throws made on a season-high 14 attempts. She also helped the offense with a season-high seven assists, adding three steals. Her eight points against Tulane was a season-low for the senior, who did still add five assists against just two turnovers.
- In the last two games, Brittany Carter has dishes out 12 assists against just three turnovers for a 4.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Ramses Lonlack was the fourth Tiger averaging double-digit points for a majority of the non-conference schedule, but the senior has not scored double-digit points since a 13-point night in the win over Louisiana Tech five games ago.
- After racking up seven straight double-doubles, Nicole Dickson has not had a double-double since the win over Louisiana Tech. She is close though, in the last three games, she is averaging 8.0 rebounds a night.
-With the injury to Ann Jones in the first half in the win over Tulane, Memphis got valuable minutes from sophomore post KK Harvey. Harvey finished with three rebounds in five minutes and also earned a trip to the line. She could see more minutes if Jones' injury requires her to miss Sunday's game at UTEP.
- Jasmine Lee shot a season-best 83.3 percent from the floor in the win over Tulane (10-for-12). The 10 field goals made tied a career high and gave her a second 20-plus point performance this season. She has scored 20 or more points four times in her two-year Tiger career.
- In the first seven games of the season when she was learning to run the point in the Tigers' offense, sophomore Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir averaged just 5.1 ppg in the first seven games; as she has progressed on the floor in the offense, she has added herself as a scoring threat. In the next seven games, she has averaged 8.4 ppg.
-Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir ranked 25th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio, a number improved by her five assists against just one turnover in the win over Tulane on Thursday night.
- Danay Collier opened the season shooting 42.6 percent from the field in the first eight games. She has struggled to convert in the last six games, shooting just 17.9 percent (5-for-28). But her consecutive game scoring streak has still extended to 15 games (dating back to last season) as she has used trips to the free-throw line to keep her from the scoring shutout. She hit her first three-point field goal in the win over Tulane since the loss at St. John's back in December. After hitting a triple in six of the first seven games, she has hit just two in the next six games heading in to Sunday's match-up at UTEP.
- In games where Ramses Lonlack shoots under 39 percent from the field, the Tigers are 0-3.
- Nicole Dickson hit back-to-back threes that pushed Memphis ahead by nine in the waning minutes of the Seton Hall game. For the game, Dickson shot 50 percent from the field, the fifth time this year that she has shot 50 percent or better from the field. Her 24 points against Seton Hall was a season-high. She has scored double-digit points in all but two games -- the season opener against Saint Louis and the loss at Missouri, where she played with a strained oblique muscle before the holiday break.
- The 33 points scored by Jasmine Crew of Seton Hall was the most points the Tiger defense has allowed an opposing player all season. That is also the lone 30-point performance Memphis has allowed this year.
Conference Openers of the Home and Road Variety
Memphis improved to 3-1 in Conference USA opening games with the win over Tulane on Thursday night. That pushed Melissa McFerrin's all-time record versus C-USA opponents to 24-25 early in her fourth season in the league.
The Tigers are 3-0 in C-USA road openers under McFerrin.
2008-09 -- Win at Rice, 72-69
2009-10 -- Win at UCF, 49-47
2010-11 -- Win at East Carolina, 87-75
Memphis' last road victory was a 74-58 win at Tulsa last year that was also Melissa McFerrin's 100th career victory and her 50th victory at Memphis.
Last Trip to UTEP
Memphis' last stay in UTEP was during the conference tournament last year, which saw the No. 6 seeded Tigers defeated Southern Miss in the first round, then upend No. 3 seed Rice in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinal round for the first time since the 1997-98 season. The Tigers lost to eventual tournament champion, UCF, in the semifinal round. The two Tiger victories in UTEP actually came in Memorial Gym, the facility located across the street from the Don Haskins Center.
The last time Memphis visited the Haskins Center for a regular season game, it was a costly win for the Tigers. Senior point guard LaToya Bullard got tangled up with a defender on a fast break and ended up dislocating her elbow and missing a chunk of the league schedule. It was then-sophomore Brittany Carter who scored six straight points, including a double-clutch jumper in the paint with 26 seconds left, who helped the Tiger offense weather a 20-5 UTEP run to escape with a 59-57 victory.
Memphis used a win over Seton Hall to improve its RPI in the first update released by the NCAA on Monday. Seton Hall (No. 107) marked the first of three opportunities for Memphis to improve its season RPI. Tulane was the second opportunity, as the Green Wave carried the league's highest RPI at No. 42, and was the highest-RPI ranked opponent left on the Tigers' schedule. UAB (93) and UTEP (116) are the next two highest-ranked teams in Conference USA in RPI and Memphis will face UTEP, Sunday, and will play at UAB in two weeks, on Jan. 22nd. Both the UTEP and UAB games will be television games for the Tigers.
Tigers' TV Time
Memphis will make three appearances on TV this season, two of them for conference road games in the month of January. Memphis is 21-23 all-time in televised games and is 4-2 in games broadcast on the Fox Sports Network.