Jan. 21, 2012
Memphis Notes at UAB
Tigers vs. UAB
This is the 45th meeting between Memphis and UAB. The Tigers lead the overall series 26-18, but have lost three straight games to the Blazers, including the season sweep last year. Memphis is 8-11 in games played in Birmingham. The last Tiger win in Birmingham was in 2008-09, Melissa McFerrin's first year at Memphis, when the Tigers won 65-60, giving Alabama native Ashley Thornton a home win in her senior season. This year's Tigers hope to do the same for another Alabama native, Jasmine Lee, who hails from nearby Bessemer.
Facing a Stiff Defense
The Tigers will have their hands full on Sunday night. They will face a Blazer defense that ranks third in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 47.1 ppg. The Blazer defens also ranks 17th in the country in field goal percentage defense (33.7%) and 16th in blocks (5.7 bpg).
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 seven wins shy of the program's 700th overall victory. Heading in to the UAB game, Memphis is 693-507 overall.
One More on the Road
The game at UAB will wrap up a stretch of the schedule that saw Memphis play three of its first five C-USA contests on the road. Since dropping the travel partner prior to last season, the Tigers are 4-6 in C-USA road games. It's hard to win on the road in conference play, but Memphis has managed to hang at about .500 on the road since Melissa McFerrin took over the program:
Lee Down Low
Senior Jasmine Lee has gotten off to a strong start in C-USA play. The senior post is shooting 62.0 percent from the field (31-for-50) and is averaging 18.5 points and 8.8 rebounds early in the C-USA schedule. She also has nine steals and five blocks in the first four league games. She will continue to expect to see double and triple teams, which could open things up for fellow frontcourt mate Nicole Dickson (14.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) or the Tiger perimeter players.
Abdul-Qaadir Coming Off Career Night
Sophomore point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir dished out a career-best 10 assists in just 25 minutes of play in the win at Southern Miss on Thursday night. That marked her first double-digit assist game of her young career at the Tiger point and marked the first time since Alex Winchell had 10 assists last year (also vs. Southern Miss) that a Memphis player has had 10 assists in a game.
The Tigers shot a season-best 68.8 percent from three-point range (11-for-16) in the win at Southern Miss on Thursday. Danay Collier was a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range, while Nicole Dickson was 3-for-4. Teammates Brittany Carter, Jailyn Norris and walk-on Alex Prince also knocked down threes in the Tigers' first C-USA road win of the season.
Free Throw Woes
Memphis actually shot better from both three-point range (68.8) and the field (50.8) in the win over Southern Miss than they did from the free-throw line (48.0). Senior forward Kiana James was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line, but the remainder of the team was 6-for-19 (31.6 percent). Memphis luckily has been attempting more free throws per game than its opponents (23.2 attempts for Memphis vs. 17.5 attempts for Tiger opponents).
WBI Well-Repped Sunday Night
The Women's Basketball Invitational started as a post-season tournament for teams not making the NCAA field in 2009-10. Memphis participated in the inaugural tournament field, advancing all the way to the finals of the 16-team tournament before losing at Appalachian State. UAB did it one better last season, winning the tournament championship over Cal State-Bakersfield. Amber Jones from UAB was named tournament MVP. The previous season, Brittany Carter and Ramses Lonlack were named to the All-Tournament teams, meaning three all-tournament players from the past two seasons will be playing in Sunday night's contest.
Double-Digit Dickson Back on the Boards
Junior Nicole Dickson was Memphis' leading rebounder Thursday night, finishing with 11 boards. That marked her 10th double-digit rebounding night of the season. With Jasmine Lee drawing a lot of attention with double and triple teams, Dickson has snuck in on the back side to grab eight double-doubles. She has just missed double-doubles nine and 10, finishing with nine points against both Missouri (when she played with a strained oblique muscle) and Thursday night at USM.
Double-Digit Dickson Back on the Boards
Junior Nicole Dickson was Memphis' leading rebounder Thursday night, finishing with 11 boards. That marked her 10th double-digit rebounding night of the season. With Jasmine Lee drawing a lot of at
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.
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.
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.
- Walk-on Alex Prince knocked down her first collegiate bucket, a three-point field goal, in the win at Southern Miss. Prince successfully walked on to the Tiger roster from Memphis area Southaven High School.
- Danay Collier has scored in 18 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. She followed that scoreless stint from the floor with a 5-for-8 effort to finish with a carere-high 15 points Thursday night.
- Jasmine Lee has not shot less than 50 percent from the floor in a Conference USA game this season. She was 7-for-14 in the loss at UTEP, that 50 percent mark is her worst shooting performance of the young C-USA schedule for Memphis.
- Playing a second straight road game as part of this week's action means managing minutes is important for the Tigers. None of the Tiger starters played over 26 minutes in the win at Southern Miss on Thursday night. Jasmine Lee played a season-low 21 minutes, while Ramses Lonlack palyed just 18 minutes while battling first half foul trouble.
- Lauren McGraw is a freshman point guard, that usually comes with enough learning curve. Her curve is even bigger since McGraw did not play point guard in high school, she is converting to a point guard after playing shooting guard at Dillard High School in Ft. Myers, Florida.
- Welcome Back Carter? After shooting under 42 percent in six straight games, senior guard Brittany Carter was 5-for-8 from the field in a limited 26 minutes of play on Thursday night. The 62.5 percent shooting clip from the floor was Carter's best shooting percentage since a 72.2 percent clip from the field in the win over UT Martin.
- Ramses Lonlack is already over 500 career rebounds, but for the first time this season, she was held without a rebound in the win over Southern Miss. AQ has scored in 25 straight games for Memphis dating back to last season.