Jan. 13, 2007
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By the end of the day on Sunday, there will be just one team in Conference USA without a league win through the first five games of the season. Both Memphis (3-15, 0-4 C-USA) and UCF (5-12, 0-4 C-USA) are still looking for their first league win of the year in each team's fifth game of the conference schedule heading into a 1 p.m. (ET) game at UCF, Sunday.
UCF is wrapping up its first home conference weekend, having dropped a game at Southern Miss on a buzzer beater to open the league schedule and going 0-3 on the road. Memphis missed three opportunities at home for a league win, and is wrapping up a two-game road trip, Sunday.
The Golden Knights are led by senior guard Francine Houston, who averaged 12.3 points per game and who has knocked down a team-best 37 field goals from three-point range. In the post, senior forward Keunta Miles adds 12.2 points and a team-best 6.2 rebounds per game. Nine different UCF players have played in 16 of the team's first 17 games, as the Golden Eagles went 1-8 through the first nine games of the year before embarking on a four-game win streak with victories over Bethune-Cookman, North Florida, Florida A&M and Iona. But the Golden Knights then dropped their first four games of the conference schedule and are looking to avoid tying their season-long five game losing streak.
Memphis is on a season-long seven game losing streak, as the Lady Tigers again stood toe-to-toe with an opponent, but not for a full 40 minutes in a 76-55 loss at Southern Miss. The Lady Tigers got a career night from sophomore Ashley Thornton, who got her fourth double-double of the year with career bests of 22 points and 14 rebounds.
The Lady Tiger offense got off to a cold start at the beginning of the game and the second half, and while Memphis recovered to shoot 41.4 percent in the opening half, they managed just seven field goals in the second half and shot 26.9 percent in a second half that found the team within single digits until the 6:16 mark.
UCF won both games between the two teams last year, winning 65-54 in Memphis with three scorers in double-digits, while handing Memphis a 77-62 loss in Orlando in the Lady Tigers final road game of the 2005-06 season.
Memphis vs. UCF
This is the fourth meeting between the Golden Knights and Memphis and UCF leads the overall series 2-1 with a pair of league wins over the Lady Tigers last season. Memphis' only win in the series was a 79-41 win on the road in 1992-93.
Necaise Closes in on 1,000th Career Point
With her non-conference college career now behind her, senior guard Devin Necaise now has 944 career points heading in to the UCF game. She needs just 56 points in C-USA competition to become the 18th Lady Tiger to hit the 1,000 point plateau in Memphis' 35 year women's basketball history.
Memphis Needing to Step up In Last 10 Minutes of Game
In the first four conference games, the Lady Tigers have been outscored 99-55 in the final 10 minutes of the game. Memphis managed just two field goals in the last 10 minutes of the Southern Miss game.
Fantroy Hits 100th Career Point
With six points at Southern Miss, freshman Se'erra Fantroy is now past the 100 career point mark. Fellow freshmen Robin Jones is just seven points shy of 100, while Alysse Davis needs 16 points.
Leonard Looking for 500th Career Point
Sophomore guard Paris Leonard is just 32 points shy of her 500th career point heading in to the USM game. She has now played in 44 career games at Memphis, meaning she is averaging 10.8 points per game so far in her young Lady Tiger career.
Green Gets First Career Start
Memphis shook up its starting line-up for the Tulsa game, adding freshman point guard Jazmyn Green to the mix for her first career start. Green scored 10 points with eight steals in 24 minutes, adding a team-high four assists. The 10 points tied a career-high that she had set Friday night, and the eight steals was a new career-high.
Adams Rebounding Streak Snapped
For the first time in seven games, freshman guard Hope Adams was held without a rebound in the loss to Tulsa. Adams, who made her fifth career start in that game, was also held scoreless from the field, the first time in six games that had happened.
Memphis Needing to Step up Rebounding in C-USA Play
Memphis has been outrebounded 130-92 in the first three games of the conference schedule, and is being outworked under the boards by over 13.0 rebounds per game on average. Hope Adams was a starter who went without a rebound in the Tulsa game, while the two tallest players on the team, Alysse Davis and Megan Gooch, also went without a rebound in the conference game.
Memphis has drawn 14 offensive charges in the first 18 games of the season. Aroha Jennings leads Memphis with four charges drawn, while Ashley Thornton and Jazmyn Green each have three charges drawn. Megan Gooch drew her first charge of the season in the loss to Tulsa.
Leonard Moves to Eighth All-Time
Sophomore guard Paris Leonard had one of her better shooting performances from beyond the arc against SMU. For the first time since the Samford game, the Lady Tigers' regular season home opener, Leonard hit more than one shot from beyond the arc. Her two three-pointers against SMU moved her past Heather Newlon in the career three-point field goals made category in the Memphis record book. Leonard, who now has 53 career threes, has a ways to go before she can move to seventh all-time. Former Lady Tiger Lauren Jackson had 71 career threes, and is 16 threes ahead of Leonard heading in to Friday's USM game.
Gooch Moves to Tie for Seventh on Career Blocks List
Senior center Megan Gooch had a pair of blocks in the UAB loss, and now has 54 blocks for her four-year Memphis career. That ties her with Linda Street (1980-81) and former teammate Raven Rogers (2001-2005) for seventh all-time. Gooch needs two more blocks heading in to the USM game to catch Kitty Allen (1993-97) for sixth place and needs four more to tie Kim Duppins (1980-1982) and to break in to the Memphis career top five.
Green Scores Career-High 10 Points in SMU Loss
Back-up freshman point guard Jazmyn Green scored 10 points with four assists and three rebounds in the loss to SMU. The 10 points was a career-high for Green, and the four assists tied a career-best. The Dallas, Texas, native now has 33 career points, with 21 of them coming from three point range.
Front Court Struggles Against SMU
The Lady Tiger front court had a low-scoring night in the loss to SMU. The combined starting threesome of Megan Gooch, Ashley Thornton and Alysse Davis were just 5-for-19 from the field (26.3 percent), combining for 15 total points.
Heard of Soft Scheduling? Not Here in Memphis.
When Blair Savage-Lansden was hired as the Lady Tigers head coach back on June 10 of 2004, there were a few games on the schedule and a few contracts that had been signed that had to be honored that historically have made for some very difficult competition for a young coach in her first head coaching job. If you look at the Week 10 AP rankings, Memphis has faced the following teams with Savage at the helm: No. 11 Arizona State, No. 15 Georgia (twice), No. 14 Vanderbilt, No. 17 Louisville, No. 24 DePaul (twice), No. 16 Marquette and No. 25 Arkansas (twice). Memphis has also faced a number of teams that are receiving votes in this week's poll--Nebraska, South Florida (twice), Kentucky, Mississippi (twice), TCU, and UTEP.
Jennings Has Career Night Against UT-San Antonio
Junior forward Aroha Jennings came off the bench and scored a game-high 26 points in the loss to host UTSA, Friday night. Jennings was 8-for-18 from the field, and was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. The 26 points was a career-high, as were the four assists. Her seven rebounds tied a career-high.
Adams Has First Career Double-Double
One bright spot for an otherwise stagnant Lady Tiger offense in the loss to No. 24 Arkansas was freshman Hope Adams. Adams posted her first career double-double, finishing with career bests in points (12) and rebounds (10). Of her 10 rebounds, eight came off the offensive glass. The freshman was also 5-for-6 from the free-throw line while playing 24 minutes.
Adams' eight offensive rebounds marked just the third time since 1986 that a Lady Tiger freshman has tallied eight or more offensive boards. Current Lady Tiger sophomore Paris Leonard set the freshman single game record last season with 10 offensive boards against Austin Peay. Adams' eight offensive boards tied a mark with Keeta Matthews for second-best in school history.
Defense Has Best Outing of Season in Win Over Southeastern Louisiana
The Lady Tiger defense gave head coach Blair Savage a belated birthday present, as Memphis held Southeastern Louisiana, a team that had won five straight games before facing the Lady Tigers, to just 28.6 percent from the field and a season-low 45 points. Savage had just celebrated her birthday on Dec. 12th.
How Our Previous Opponents Are Faring
So how are our non-conference opponents faring? See below:
Winthrop (3-13 overall, 0-0 Big South): Suffered its fifth straight loss at Charlotte, 65-45; hosts UNC Asheville, Saturday.
Dayton (5-12 overall, 0-2 Atlantic 10): Fell at Charlotte, 82-70; play at Saint Louis, Sunday.
No. 17/16 Louisville (17-1, 3-1 Big East): Won at Georgetown, 57-54; plays at USF, Tuesday.
Samford (9-7, 4-3 OVC): Defeated Tennessee State, 68-51; plays at Tennessee Tech, Sunday.
UL Monroe (12-5, 2-4 Sun Belt): Won 61-47 over New Orleans; plays at Florida Atlantic, Sunday.
Central Arkansas (6-10, 0-4 Southland): Fell at Texas A&M-CC, 73-71; hosts Lamar, Thursday.
Lipscomb (5-11, 3-3 A-Sun): Won second straight with a 71-53 win over Stetson.
No. 15/15 Georgia (14-3, 2-1 SEC): Won on the road at Mississippi State, 74-61.
UT Martin (9-7, 3-4 OVC): Had four game win streak snapped with a 67-47 loss at Morehead State.
Creighton (4-11, 1-3 Missouri Valley): Picked up first league win over Bradley, 73-63; hosts Drake, Sunday.
Southeastern Louisiana (10-7 overall, 2-2 Southland): Fell to UT-Arlington, 51-43.
No. 20/23 Arkansas (15-3, 0-2 SEC): Was upset by unranked Mississippi State, 81-73; plays Sunday at Auburn.
UT-San Antonio (6-9, 2-1 Southland): Went 2-0 for the week with a 55-38 win over Northwestern State.
Kentucky (13-4, 2-0 SEC): Won at Alabama on a last second jumper, 63-62.