Jan. 18, 2012
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Memphis Notes vs. USM
Tigers vs. Southern Miss
This is the 53rd meeting between the Tigers and the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss. The series has always been tightly-contested, and Memphis leads the overall series, 29-23. The series is tied at 12-12 in games played in Hattiesburg following USM's 66-51 win over Memphis last year. The loss at Hattiesburg last year in the regular season snapped a two-game Memphis winning streak in Reed Green.
USM will happily be back home after playing three of its first C-USA games on the road. The Golden Eagles have picked up five of their six wins on their home floor.
Assisting Point Guard
The match-up between Memphis and Southern Miss also matches up two of the top three point guards in the conference in assists per game. Sophomore Jamierra Faulkner of USM leads the conference and ranks third in the nation with 7.6 assists per game, while Tigers' sophomore Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir ranks third in the conference with 3.7 assists a game.
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 eight wins shy of the program's 700th overall victory. Heading in to the Southern Miss game, Memphis is 692-507 overall. Southern Miss head coach Joye Lee-McNelis was a big part of that tradition, helping the Tigers to 229 of those 692 overall victories before returning to her alma mater before the 2004-05 season.
Looking for C-USA Road Win
Memphis sports an unblemished 10-0 record in home games so far this season. The Tigers have not yet found a way to pack up the home court advantage to take on the road, sporting a 1-4 overall record in road games. Memphis dropped its first C-USA road game at UTEP, 66-60, after leading by as many as 19 in the game.
Lee Down Low
Senior Jasmine Lee has gotten off to a strong start in C-USA play. The senior post is shooting 61.0 percent from the field (25-for-41) and is averaging a double-double of 19.3 points and 10.0 rebounds early in the C-USA schedule. She also leads Memphis with eight steals and three blocks in the first three league games. She will continue to expect to see double and triple teams, which could open things up for fellow frontcourt mate Nicole Dickson (16.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg) or the Tiger perimeter players.
Abdul-Qaadir Looking for Dual Hundreds
Sophomore point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir has taken on a lot as the team's starting point guard, trying to run the Memphis offense, while also establishing herself as a scoring threat to keep defenses honest. Heading into the Southern Miss game, the sophomore from Springfield, Mass., is looking one assist shy of her 100th career assist and just eight rebounds shy of her 100th career rebound. The sophomore already 238 career points and is averaging 6.7 ppg for Memphis this year after averaging 3.9 ppg last year backing up Alex Winchell.
The Return of Ramses
Fans may have noticed that senior guard Ramses Lonlack was back to her thieving ways on Sunday. The Cameroon native led Memphis with five steals in the win over East Carolina. The five picks also helped get Lonlack back in double-digit points for the first time since the win over Louisiana Tech before the semester break. The five steals against ECU was a season-high for Lonlack. Teams have been playing away from Lonlack earlier in the season, letting whomever was not guarded by Lonlack bring the ball up the court, but with the senior sitting fourth on the roster with 22 steals, she decided to turn it up in the passing lanes and is now third on the squad in total steals behind teammates Brittany Carter and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, the other two starting Memphis guards who have benefitted from teams trying to play away from Lonlack.
Carter Ready for Breakout
Senior guard Brittany Carter is finding that no one knows her game like Conference USA opponents do. The senior has not scored double-digits yet since the Tigers have entered conference play, a first in her Memphis career. Carter is also looking to make up for last year's missed chance to play at Southern Miss, the first game of a five-game stint in the late stretch of the C-USA schedule that she missed last year due to a stress fracture in her foot.
Drain `em Dickson
Early in the season, Nicole Dickson was double-double Dickson, posting a school-record seven straight double-doubles. A strained oblique muscle in her side slowed her down on the glass a bit, but the junior is back to looking like herself, but with a new dimension. In the last four games, she has shot 50 percent or better from three-point range. In two of those games, she has knocked down four triples, tying her career-high. The junior just missed her ninth double-double of the season in the loss at UTEP, finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Needing the Bench
Ann Jones had emerged as the Tigers' first post off the bench early in the season. But when the freshman went down with a knee injury four minutes in to Memphis' win over Tulane, the already shortened Memphis bench got even shorter. Practice since that game has given senior Kiana James and sophomore KK Harvey some needed reps with the Tigers' starters to get them comfortable. Harvey responded with her first career multi-block game in the win over East Carolina, while James was a perfect 1-for-1 from the floor in a season-high seven minutes of play. The Tigers will need production off their bench to get that elusive first C-USA road win. The Memphis bench has been out-scored by the opposition in four straight games and by and average of 20.8 ppg to 11.9 ppg over the course of the season.
Abdul-Qaadir's Streak Snapped
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had her school-record 26 consecutive free throws made streak snapped in the win over East Carolina on Sunday. After hitting the floor hard after being fouled by ECU shortly after Memphis in-bounded the ball in the waning minutes of the game, Abdul-Qaadir missed both free-throws in the double-bonus while trying to stave off a Pirate rally that had cut a once 14-point Memphis lead to just three in the final seconds of the game.
- Danay Collier has scored in 17 straight games, dating back to last season. Collier missed the C-USA tournament and the WNIT game against Alabama with a foot injury. The senior couldn't convert from the floor against ECU, but was 2-for-2 from the free-throw line to keep her scoring streak alive.
- With Brittany Carter in foul trouble in the second half, Collier tied a season-high 27 minutes played on Sunday.
- Jasmine Lee posted her third 20-plus point game of the season and the fifth of her career in the win over East Carolina. The senior forward overcame a slow shooting start to the game to finish with 21 points, including 8-for-15 from the floor. She also added a career-high four steals for Memphis defending the post against the Pirates.
- Jasmine Lee had 10 offensive rebounds in the win over ECU. For the season, she had gotten 70 of her 148 rebounds off of missed Tiger shots.
- Lauren McGraw keeps working her way to the free-throw line, but has hit a bit of a slump. She is 0-for-6 from the line over the past five games, including 0-for-2 marks in the wins over Tulane and East Carolina.
- After going through the first 14 games with just one game with more turnovers than assists, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir has been backwards in the two stats in each of the last two games. She had no assists against two turnovers at UTEP and three assists against four turnovers on Sunday vs. ECU.
- Nicole Dickson needs just eight more steals to have as many steals this year as she had in all of last season. She had 30 picks last year.
- Memphis has been out-scored (63.0-62.6) and out-rebounded (44.0-41.6) in the past five games. The Tigers are 3-2 in that stretch of five games against opponents from the Big Twelve, Big East and three C-USA opponents. Memphis has had 26 more attempts from the free-throw line in those five games, but has just five more made free-throws than its opponents in that same five-game stretch.
Front Line of Dickson and Lee Looking for 500 Rebound Marks
Junior forward Nicole Dickson and senior Jasmine Lee passed benchmark point totals in the win over Tulane, and are both now eyeing the 500 rebound mark. Only 19 other players in Memphis history have had over 500 career rebounds, including teammate Ramses Lonlack (562).
1. Linda Street 1,452
2. Regina Street 1,277
3. Tamika Whitmore 952
4. Keeta Matthews 926
5. Kim Duppins 881
6. Ashley Thornton 713
7. LaTonya Johnson 686
8. Melissa Abraham 685
9. Savannah Ellis 670
Diane Gray 670
11. Heather Newlon 646
12. Raven Rogers 624
13. Wanda Dillard 611
14. Shannon Hamp 567
15. Ramses Lonlack 566
16. Kitty Allen 559
17. Michelle Winrow 548
18. Vera Webb 547
19. LaShanya Garner 524
Nicole Dickson 428
Jasmine Lee 419
Dickson will likely be the next Tiger (following Ramses Lonlack) to hit the 1,000 career point mark. With 13 regular season conference games remaining and at least one conference tournament game on the schedule, Dickson would need to average 11.2 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).
The is the 40th season that women's basketball has been a varsity sport at Memphis. It's been a bitter sweet celebration, as Elma Roane, the women's athletic director who returned women's sports to varsity status at the university, passed away in September at the age of 93. The Tigers entered the 2011-12 season just 20 wins away from the 700th win in program history. The program's current record heading in to the Southern Miss game is 692-507.
In school history, 18 Tigers' teams have won 20 or more games. In the last 10 years, Memphis has just three 20-win seasons, but two of them are the back-to-back seasons under McFerrin.
Carter Named to Women's Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List
Senior guard Brittany Carter was the lone Conference USA player to be named to the Women's Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List. Carter, one of 51 players on the list, becomes the first Tiger player under the guidance of Melissa McFerrin to earn a spot on the watch list. A two-time All-Conference USA first team honoree, Carter is also one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The senior was also named to the CollegeChalkTalk.com Worthy 20 preseason Wooden players list from George Rodecker.
Lonlack Playing Extended Season Following National Team Stint
Senior guard Ramses Lonlack has always been a workhorse for head coach Melissa McFerrin, averaging 30.4 minutes per game in the previous 106 career games (she has started 101 games). All that playing time was extended in to the off-season in the summer of 2010 when Lonlack returned home to Cameroon for the first time since she was a high school sophomore to play for the Cameroon national team in the qualifying rounds for the 2011 Afrobasket tournament. Lonlack helped Cameroon qualify for the tournament, then returned to Memphis for her junior season.
In August of this year, Lonlack joined her Tiger teammates in a 10-day tour of Italy, which meant 10 more days of practice, followed by 10 days of touring and four games, then returned to the U.S. before again flying back to Cameroon to represent her country in the 2011 Afrobasket tournament in Bali, where the team was attempting to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic games. Cameroon advanced all the way to the quarterfinal round, then bounced back from a quarterfinals loss to finish sixth in the draw, which meant Lonlack played eight games in nine days, then flew back across the Atlantic Ocean to return to her Civil Engineering Classes.
Saint Louis (6-12 overall, 0-3 Atlantic 10): Lost at St. Bonaventure without leading scorer Jacy Bradley, 64-52; hosts Rhode Island, Sunday at 11 a.m. on CBS Sports Network.
Belmont (5-13, 4-3 A-Sun): Handed Stetson its first Atlantic Sun loss, 65-58; plays at East Tennessee, Thursday.
Illinois (6-12, 0-5 Big 10): Battled back from 10 down with a late three, but host Northwestern hit a free-throw in the final three seconds of the game in the 59-58 victory; plays the top five teams in the league in the next six games, starting against pre-season favorite Penn State, Thursday.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-16, 0-5 SWAC): Still winless in 2011-12; plays at Texas Southern, Saturday.
Southeast Louisiana (5-10, 0-2 Southland): Overcame a 19-point deficit only to fall short 78-73; hosts league-leading McNeese State, Wednesday.
UT Arlington (2-12, 0-3 Southland): Lost to Lamar, 68-52; hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Wednesday.
Tennessee State (6-12, 2-4 Ohio Valley): Watched a 14-point half time lead disappear in a 60-50 loss to SIU Edwardsville; hosts Morehead State, Thursday.
UT Martin (9-8, 3-1 Ohio Valley): Suffered first league loss, 70-63, to Eastern Illinois; plays at Eastern Kentucky, Saturday.
UALR (8-10, 3-2 Sun Belt): Picked up a road win at Arkansas State, 64-57; hosts Louisiana-Lafayette, Wednesday.
Louisiana Tech (8-9, 1-1 WAC):Lost to Utah State on the road, 79-62; plays at Hawaii, Thursday.
St. John's (12-7, 4-2 BIG EAST): Bounced back from a home loss to Marquette to up set No. 7/8 Rutgers; 62-57; plays at Cincinnati, Saturday.
Missouri (10-5, 0-4 Big 12): Came up on the wrong end of the Border Showdown with a 72-63 loss to Kansas; plays at Texas A&M, Wednesday.