@MemphisWBKB Hosts No. 23 Rutgers Tuesday
Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

Jan. 13, 2014

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The University of Memphis women's basketball team (8-8, 1-3 The American) will host one of the nation's longest winning streaks when No. 23 Rutgers (13-2, 4-0 The American) comes to town for a Tuesday night meeting in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. Rutgers has won nine straight games dating back to November, a streak that ties as the seventh longest in the country. Guided by Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer, this will be the Scarlet Knights' first-ever visit to the Bluff City.

First Conference Win
The Tigers got their first-ever American Athletic Conference win Saturday at UCF. Memphis had four players in double digits in the win, led by 24 points from sophomore guard Ariel Hearn. Freshman Breigha Wilder-Cochran was knocking on the door of a triple double, finishing with 16 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, all career-highs.

Another New Opponent
Tuesday night's meeting with Rutgers will be the fourth time this year Memphis is facing an opponent for the first time in school history. Memphis is 0-3 against first-time opponents (Texas, Temple, Connecticut). Rutgers is the final first-time opponent for Memphis on this year's regular season slate.

Hearn Finding Ways to Score
Ariel Hearn finished the UCF game with 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting. The 20+ point night is the eighth of the season for Hearn and the sixth in her last nine games.

Hearn leads The American in conference-only games in scoring with a 20.8 ppg average. The sophomore guard also ranks tied for 10th in assists per game in league play with 3.0 a night and is tied for fourth in free-throw percentage with her 83.3 percent stroke.

Hearn and her teammates will have their hands full Tuesday night though, as Rutgers sports the country's sixth-stingiest scoring defense, holding teams to just 53.7 points per game and to a 32.9 percent shooting performance from the field.

Wilder-Cochran Posts Career Night at UCF
Freshman point guard Breigha Wilder-Cochran had a career-night in the win at UCF Saturday. The freshman almost put a triple-double in the books, finishing with career highs in points (16), rebounds (8) and assists (9).

In conference contests, Wilder-Cochran leads the league with 5.3 assists a game and ranks fifth with 2.5 steals a night. She has also moved in to the top 25 in scoring with 9.8 ppg and her 73.3 percent free-throw stroke ranks 10th in conference games.

The freshman has also found some comfort in shooting from beyond the arc, knocking down four three-point field goals in the last three games and shooting 4-for-7 from beyond the arc in the last three games.

Hope Posts Double Digits Again
The challenge all season for the Tigers has been getting consistent second and third scorers to go with Ariel Hearn's offensive output. Senior post Pa'Sonna Hope may be becoming one of those scorers. Hope has posted double-digit points in the last three games, including a career-best 18 point night in the win at UCF where she shot 7-for-9 from the floor.

The 18 points pushed her past 300 points for her Memphis career. She also needs just two more blocks to break in to the Memphis career top 10 despite playing her first two collegiate seasons at Ole Miss.

Tiger Bench Gets Into The Action
With a short roster of just 11 players, foul trouble or injuries mean that the coaching staff has to do some lineup juggling.

Against UCF, the Tigers had three players with two fouls at the end of the first half and had to again adjust the lineup to cover foul trouble.

But by the end of the game, all 11 players had gotten in on the game action, including freshman post Brandi Goodman, who is battling a back injury that cost her the entire preseason, and sophomore guard Jaymie Jackson, who returned to the Tiger lineup after missing games for a violation of team rules.

Rowser Adds Another Double-Digit Game
Redshirt freshman guard Mooriah Rowser continues to work her way back from a knee injury that cost her all but two games last year. After scoring 24 points in her first collegiate game, the bar was set high for Rowser as she tries to get her basketball game back. At UCF, with Hearn in foul trouble, Rowser and Wilder-Cochran had to share the scoring burden. The result was Rowser's ninth double-digit scoring night, finishing with 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting.

Rowser has also added some range to her game as of late, connecting on her first collegiate triple in the double overtime loss at SMU and adding another one in the win at UCF. She also tied a season-high with a pair of assists in the win.

Keep it Clean
Against one of the country's top defenses, the Tigers will have to take care of the basketball. Rutgers has forced nine of its 15 opponents in to 20 or more turnovers so far this year and if the Tigers can get to the paint, they'll have to look out for sophomore center Rachel Hollivay, who averages 3.6 blocks a game.

In games where Memphis scores more points off turnovers than their opponents, they are 6-3. In games where the opponents take more Tiger turnovers the other way for buckets, Memphis is 2-5.

About Rutgers
Guided by Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers is making its first-ever visit to the Bluff City. Stringer has 914 coaching victories in college women's basketball (ranking as the third-winningest women's coach all-time and first among active head coaches) with 394 of those coming as the helm of the Rutgers program.

She is the first coach to lead three different schools to the NCAA Final Four (Cheney, 1982; Iowa, 1993; Rutgers 2000, 2007) and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Rutgers is one of three unbeaten teams in the American Athletic Conference. The Scarlet Knights have won nine straight games dating back to November and sport one of the country's stiffest defenses, raking in the top six in points allowed (53.7) and opponent's field goal percentage (32.9). The nine-game winning streak is tied for the seventh-longest in the country.

And while holding opposing team's offenses down, the Scarlet Knights can string together big offensive runs of their own, putting 15-0 runs on opponents five times already this season, including a 20-0 run against Cincinnati and a 21-0 run on USF.

Hearn Looking for Career Point 800
Through 48 career games, sophomore guard Ariel Hearn has been a consistent scorer. She is averaging 15.5 ppg for her career (18.9 ppg this year).

She comes in to the Rutgers/Houston week with 745 career points, 55 shy of the 800-point mark and 255 shy of the 1,000 point mark.

With 14 regular season conference games left and at least one guaranteed conference tournament game, Hearn would need to average 17.0 ppg over the rest of the season to hit the 1,000 point mark this year. That would make her the first Tiger to hit the 1,000 point mark in two seasons since Brittany Carter did it after transferring to Memphis from Georgia in her 60th career game.

Fastest to 1,000 career points
54 games -- LaTonya Johnson
55 games -- Keeta Matthews
60 games -- Brittany Carter
62 games -- Kitty Allen
64 games -- Tamika Whitmore


Hearn Earns Repeat American Athletic Weekly Honor
Ariel Hearn was named to The American Conference athletic honor roll for January 13th after posting her eighth 20+ point game of the season in the road win at UCF.

It was the second time this season for Hearn to earn a spot on the American Athletic Conference honor roll. She was also named to the honor roll Dec. 23rd.

American Athletic Conference Weekly Honor Roll Honors for Tigers
Dec. 9 Breigha Wilder-Cochran
Dec. 16 Asia Fuqua-Bey
Dec. 23 Ariel Hearn
Jan. 13 Ariel Hearn

Powell Responds With Career Night
With her front-court mates in foul trouble at SMU, sophomore forward Courtney Powell made the most of her playing opportunity, finishing with a career-best 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Powell also added five rebounds and a steal in a career-high 22 minutes.

Powell also saw a bunch of playing time at UCF, finishing 2-for-3 from the field and grabbing seven rebounds.

Over the past two games, she is averaging 7.5 points and 6.0 rebounds and is 7-for-10 from the field.

Wilder-Cochran Looking for Hearn's Freshman Assist Mark
Through the first 16 games of the season, freshman point guard Breigha Wilder-Cochran leads Memphis with 76 assists. Wilder-Cochran averages 4.75 assists per game. She needs 24 more assists to become just the third freshman in school history to dish out 100 or more assists.

The first Memphis freshman to reach that feat was Ruth Ann-Forsythe, who finished with 101 assists in the 1983-84 season. The second was Ariel Hearn, last season. Hearn finished with a freshman single season record 109 assists in her first collegiate season.


 

 

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