Feb. 2, 2007
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For the second time in as many meetings with Marshall, the Lady Tigers grabbed a season-best 15 steals, but fell short, 73-60.
Memphis had cut a 10-point halftime deficit to three with just over 12 minutes to play in the game when sophomore Paris Leonard drove the lane and drew contact on a lay up attempt. The contact sent Alix Barnette to the Thundering Herd sideline with a bloody nose and jersey, and while the Marshall training staff wiped up the floor, the fans and the Thundering Herd got fired up. Sophomore guard Meg Withrow scored nine straight points, six of them at the free-throw line and scored 13 of the Thundering Herd's last 29 points to keep Marshall in a three-way tie for the lead atop Conference USA.
Heading in to the East Carolina game, Memphis is looking to keep improving on defense. Against Marshall, the Lady Tigers got steals from nine of the 10 players who played and got rebounds from all 10 players.
Senior Devin Necaise comes in to the East Carolina game looking to join some prestigious company as she is just three points shy of her 1,000th career point. The senior guard scored 12 points, all from three-point range, at Marshall, going 4-for-11 from three-point range. She also tied a career-high with four steals in that game while playing 39 minutes.
Aroha Jennings continues to lead Memphis in scoring following a 13-point night at Marshall. Against the Herd, Jennings was 4-for-7 from the floor, 1-for-1 from three-point range and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. She also added seven rebounds, including four offensive while playing 26 minutes. Her 13 points marked the 12th time in 15 games that she has scored double digits, including the last four games.
In the last meeting with East Carolina, the Lady Tigers shot just 19.6 percent in the first half and trailed 36-19 at the half. Memphis out-scored Marshall 38-33 in the second half, but the damage had been done. Cherie Mills came off the bench to score 26 points, adding 10 rebounds, while Jasmine Young was the only ECU starter to score double-digits with 12 points.
Memphis got 14 points from Jennings and 11 from freshman Hope Adams in that game, while Ashley Thornton grabbed 13 rebounds. The ECU defense held Devin Necaise, Memphis' second-leading scorer to just four points on 1-of-10 shooting.
The East Carolina game will be Memphis' third straight road game before the Lady Tigers return to town to host Tulane, one of three teams atop the league standings, Wednesday, Feb. 7th at FedExForum. That game will be Memphis' celebration of National Girls and Women in Sport Day where all AAU teams and MAM teams receive free admission in their jerseys.
Memphis vs. East Carolina
This is the ninth meeting between Memphis and the Lady Pirates of East Carolina. ECU leads the overall series 5-3 and has won four of the last five games, including a series sweep last season.
Necaise Three Shy of 1,000
Senior guard Devin Necaise is just three points shy of her 1,000th career point heading in to Saturday's game at East Carolina. Necaise, who is also second in school history with 166 three-point field goals made, is coming off a 24-point night at UAB and a 12-point night at Marshall. The UAB game marked the first time in five games that Necaise managed to get to double-digit points as league opponents have forced her to the perimeter, where she was 9-for-37 over the last five games prior to the Marshall game. She snapped a shooting drought from beyond the arc in a big way against UAB, hitting six threes, but still attempting 13 in the game, her second-highest three-point field goal attempt mark of the season.
Necaise Ties Senior Record
With her four three-point field goals made at Marshall, Devin Necaise has now hit 50 threes this season, which ties the single season senior record former Lady Tiger Tamika Butler set last season.
Team Ties Season-Best in Marshall Loss
The Lady Tigers nabbed 15 steals for the second straight game against Marshall. The 15 steals is the seasons-best effort. Nine of the 10 Lady Tigers who played recorded a steal at Marshall. Freshman Hope Adams was the lone Lady Tiger without a swipe in the game.
Memphis Struggling at the Free-Throw Line
Memphis has uncharacteristically struggled at the free-throw line in its last three games, hitting under 70 percent in losses against East Carolina (.667), UAB (.643) and Marshall (.550). For the year, Memphis is shooting 72.3 percent from the charity stripe.
Leonard Hits 500th Career Point; Approaching 50th Career Game
With 12 points against Marshall, sophomore Paris Leonard has now passed the 500-career point mark in her 49th game as Lady Tiger. She currently ranked eighth in school history with 61 career three-point field goals made and will be playing in her 50th career game in her hometown Lady Tiger uniform, Saturday, at East Carolina.
Looking to Repeat Perimeter Defensive Effort at ECU
In the last meeting with East Carolina, the Lady Tigers held the Pirates scoreless from beyond the arc. ECU was 0-for-10, but will be back in the friendly confines of their home gym for Saturday's meeting.
Thornton Nails 200th Career Point; Five Away From 200th Lady Tiger Career Rebound
Ashley Thornton scored seven points in the loss at UAB, shooting 3-for-11 while grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. The seven points gives her exactly 200 points in her first year as a Lady Tiger. Thornton is also approaching her 200th career rebound, with 195 total rebounds heading in to Saturday's game at East Carolina.
Two Over 20 in Same Game for First Time Since 2004
Devin Necaise (24 points) and Aroha Jennings (21 points) both scored over 20 points in the loss at UAB in Memphis' last game. That marked the first time since Feb.. 8, 2004 that two Lady Tigers scored 20 or more points in the same game. In that game, against East Carolina, Jennifer Sullivan scored 26 points while Princess Swilley scored 20 points. Memphis has never had three players score 20 or more points in a game. Alysse Davis fell nine points shy of the 20-point mark against UAB, finishing with a career-high 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
Offense Coming Off Best Effort of C-USA Season
The 77 points scored by Memphis at UAB and the 42.2 percent shooting mark was the best of the season for Memphis since league play began. The 14 three-point field goals made and the 50 percent shooting clip from beyond the arc were also single season highs.
But the Lady Tiger shooters may have a point to prove in the Marshall game, as the 50 points Memphis scored at home against the Thundering Herd two weeks ago was the program's lowest-scoring output of the conference schedule and marked the first time in four meetings that Memphis had been held to under 65 points against Marshall.
Jennings Becomes Team's Leading Scorer
Junior forward Aroha Jennings has scored double-digits in 12 of the last 15 games, including last five straight. She now leads the team with 11.5 ppg overall and is averaging 13.0 ppg in league play. Jennings also leads the team with 13 steals against C-USA competition and is third on the team with 15 assists. Overall, she is third on the team with 29 steals and is second on the team with 40 assists on the year.
Memphis has drawn 22 offensive charges in the first 23 games of the season. Aroha Jennings and Ashley Thornton lead Memphis with six charges drawn. Jazmyn Green is second with five charges drawn. Devin Necaise has two on the season, while Megan Gooch, Robin Jones and Paris Leonard all have one.
Tying a Historical Streak
The Lady Tiger losing streak is at 12 games. The current streak ties a school record that was initially set by the 1989-90 team and which was tied by Memphis last season before a home win over UTEP.
Jones Knocks Down 100th Point
Freshman Robin Jones hit just one of three free-throws in the loss to East Carolina, but it was enough to get her to the 100-point mark for her young Lady Tiger career. She would add four more points, and now stands at 106 points in 22 Lady Tiger career games. She has scored in eight straight Lady Tiger games heading in to the East Carolina game.
Note to the Opposition: Don't Foul 23
Lady Tiger opponents might want to avoid sending senior Devin Necaise to the free-throw line. This year, Necaise is shooting 95.7 percent from the line (45-for-47) and is hitting 89.0 percent from the charity stripe for her career. Necaise leads Conference USA in free-throw shooting but has not made enough free-throw attempts to make it in to the NCAA statistics, which require a player to have attempted 2.5 free-throws per game in order to be ranked. With the same shooting percentage with enough attempts, Necaise would be leading the country in free-throw shooting.
Last Conference Road Win
It's been over two calendar years since Memphis has picked up a Conference USA road win. Memphis' last road win was at UAB, on Jan. 21, 2005.
Gooch Moves to Tie for Seventh on Career Blocks List
Senior center Megan Gooch had a pair of blocks in the UAB loss to open the conference schedule, 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 Marshall 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.
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 13 AP rankings, Memphis has faced the following teams with Savage at the helm: No. 12 Arizona State, No. 14 Georgia (twice), No. 15 Vanderbilt, No. 19 Louisville, No. 16 Marquette and No. 22 Nebraska. Memphis has also faced a number of teams that are receiving votes in this week's poll-- DePaul (twice), Arkansas (twice), South Florida (twice), Mississippi (twice), Tulane (twice) and TCU.
How Our Previous Opponents Are Faring (AP Rankings/ESPN coaches rankings)
So how are our non-conference opponents faring? See below:
Winthrop (4-18 overall, 1-5 Big South): Lost its third straight game, falling at Coastal Carolina, 60-55; plays at Charleston Southern, Saturday.
Dayton (8-13 overall, 3-3 Atlantic 10): Beat Duquesne 77-60 in league play; plays at St. Bonaventure, Friday.
No. 19/17 Louisville (19-2, 5-2 Big East): Beat Pittsburgh 72-59 as Jazz Covington became the program's all-time rebounding leader; plays at Villanova, Tuesday.
Samford (12-11, 7-7 OVC): Evened their conference record with a win over Tennessee State, 79-52; plays at Eastern Illinois, Saturday.
UL Monroe (14-8, 4-7 Sun Belt): Fell at Western Kentucky 78-69; plays at UALR, Saturday
Central Arkansas (9-11, 3-5 Southland): Won at Nicholls State, 74-72; hosts Northwestern State, Saturday.
Lipscomb (6-14, 4-6 A-Sun): Defeated Kennesaw State, 68-57; hosts East Tennessee, Saturday.
No. 14/14 Georgia (19-4, 6-2 SEC): Upset No. 7 LSU with a Ashley Houts jumper at the buzzer, 53-51; plays at No. 3 Tennessee, Monday, on ESPN2.
UT Martin (12-10, 7-7 OVC): Dropped second straight league road game, falling 54-48 at Tennessee Tech; hosts league-leading Southeast Missouri, Saturday.
Creighton (9-12, 6-4 Missouri Valley): Won fourth straight game, winning 69-65 at Bradley; plays at Northern Iowa, Saturday.
Southeastern Louisiana (14-7 overall, 6-2 Southland): Remain atop the SLC East with a 69-62 win over McNeese State; plays at Lamar, Saturday.
Arkansas (18-6, 3-5 SEC): Fell 80-75 at Starkville; hosts Ole Miss, Sunday.
UT-San Antonio (7-12, 3-4 Southland): Defeated Sam Houston State, 75-60; plays at Stephen F. Austin, Saturday.
Kentucky (14-9, 3-5 SEC): Fell by one to No. 15 Vanderbilt on a last second jumper; hosts Florida, Sunday.