Feb. 3, 2012
Marketing & Promotions:
All fans who wear pink will receive free admission. The first 700 fans will receive a free pink Memphis beanie in honor of breast cancer awareness. The Tigers' Play 4Kay game is an annual event sponsored by the WBCA and was formerly known as Pink Zone.
Fans who have a ticket stub from the men's game vs. Xavier will also receive free admission in to the general admission game.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Network. To find the channel nearest you that will carry the game, please go here.
Memphis Notes vs UCF
Tigers vs. UCF
In a scheduling glitch, the University of Memphis women's basketball team has faced two East Division opponents twice already before Saturday's first match-up of the season against UCF. This will be the 15th meeting between the two programs and UCF used a win in Orlando on the final game of the regular season and a win over Memphis in the semifinals of the C-USA Championships last year to take an 8-6 series lead in meetings with the Tigers.
Memphis is looking to bounce back from a 62-54 loss to Southern Miss that saw four Tiger starters score double-digit points, but which also saw Memphis get out-rebounded 45-43 and give up 25 points fast break points compared to just six fast break points for Memphis despite 32 USM turnovers.
Sophomore center KK Harvey made the most of her first career start, scoring seven of Memphis' first 12 points and finishing with her first career double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers were the definition of cold from the field Thursday night in their first home loss since the WNIT first round game to Alabama last year. Memphis shot just 24.7 percent for the game from the field, including 19.2 percent from three-point range. One of the Tigers' big three scorers, Nicole Dickson, was 3-for-21, while fellow starter Ramses Lonlack was 1-for-12 and senior reserve Danay Collier, who was 5-for-5 from three-point range in the first match-up with USM, was 2-for-11 from the field and 0-for-6 from three-point range.
The Tigers have a short turnaround to put the USM loss away, hosting UCF a day earlier than normal on Saturday due to it being a TV game.
The Knights snapped a two-game C-USA losing streak with a 54-48 win over Tulsa on Thursday night to move to a tie for sixth in the league standings at 5-4. A win over Memphis could move UCF as high as a tie for third.
Iced Over Conference Schedule Midpoint
Memphis hit the halfway mark of the Conference USA regular season slate with a chilly thud on Thursday night. Memphis, which shot 50.8 percent from the floor and 68.8 percent from three-point range in the win at Reed Green Coliseum in the first meeting with Southern Miss, found the shoe on the opposite foot Thursday night. This time, it was USM who shot 50.0 percent from the field, including 71.4 percent in the second half, while the Tigers misfired from all over the floor, shooting 24.7 percent from the floor and just 19.2 percent from three point range.
Harvey Makes Most of First Career Start
Sophomore center Krishunda Harvey made her first career start on Thursday night with the absence of senior guard Brittany Carter. The Tigers shifted Nicole Dickson to a three spot, shifted Jasmine Lee to the four and left an opening for Harvey at the five. The Dallas native responded with her first career double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds and came out and scored seven of Memphis' first 12 points.
No Carter in Conference Clash
Senior Brittany Carter missed the Thursday night game against USM due to an ankle injury she suffered in the final 26 seconds of the win at East Carolina on Sunday. A veteran Memphis squad should be well-versed in life without the senior, as she missed five games last year due to a stress fracture in her foot. Memphis went 1-4 in that stretch last year without Carter, including losses to Southern Miss and UCF. She is listed as day-to-day.
Return of Jones
Memphis lost one and gained one in the game against Southern Miss. Brittany Carter missed the game, but freshman Ann Jones marked her first game action since suffering a knee injury four minutes in to the win over Tulane in the Tigers' C-USA opener. The freshman had a good start to her return, grabbing two quick rebounds and posting a block with two steals in seven minutes of play in the first half. But as Memphis struggled to get its offense going in the second half, Jones did not attempt a shot in another seven minute stint in the second half.
Lee's Double-Digit Streak Snapped
Jasmine Lee had posted three straight double-doubles while the Tigers built a five-game winning streak. But facing a triple team for most of the night against Southern Miss, Lee had her double-double streak snapped. She scored double-digit points, finishing with 10, but finished with just six rebounds. In conference play, she has had single digit rebounds in four of eight C-USA games, including twice against Southern Miss.
Her 10 double-doubles on the season is the most for a Memphis player since Tamika Whitmore had 13 double-doubles during her senior season in 1998-99.
Lee has scored 20 or more points in four of Memphis' first eight C-USA games and has posted nine or more offensive rebounds twice since league play began (10 vs. East Carolina, nine vs. Marshall). The senior is almost averaging a double-double overall, with 15.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game heading in to Saturday's game vs. UCF.
Lee Garners Pair of Honors
Senior forward Jasmine Lee was named the Conference USA Player of the Week and the CollegeSportsMadness.com High Major women's player of the week after averaging 20.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. Lee posted back-to-back 20-point games last week in wins over Marshall and East Carolina and has posted three straight double-doubles heading in to Thursday night's contest against Southern Miss.
In the first meeting at USM, Lee finished with 13 points and just six rebounds, while shooting 62.5 percent from the floor in just 21 minutes of play.
In league-only games, Lee leads the league in scoring (17.6 ppg) and field goal percentage (61.0) and ranks second in rebounding (10.6), 14th in steals (1.9) , first in offensive rebounds (4.9) and seventh in defensive rebounds (5.7).
Abdul-Qaadir Adding to Her Point Guard Role
Tiger coach Melissa McFerrin will admit that she is hard on her point guards. A former point guard at Missouri (and with associate head coach Danielle O'Banion the former point guard at Boston College), the Memphis point guards have their work cut out for them under McFerrin. But Abdul-Qaadir has stepped up in her first full year manning the point for Memphis. She ranks 45th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.45), is the team leader in steals (52) while ranking fifth on the team in scoring and is coming off her first career back-to-back double-digit scoring outings. At ECU, Abdul-Qaadir shot 75.0 percent from the field, finishing with 12 points. She followed that with a 10-point outing (although on 5-for-12 shooting) in the loss to Southern Miss Thursday night.
Memphis currently ranks 35th in the country in scoring offense in the most recent NCAA statistics with 71.9 ppg. That number keeps dropping in league play as 10 of the league's 12 teams are holding opponents to under 60 ppg scoring. Facing such stiff defenses, Memphis still has hit the 70 point mark three times in its first eight C-USA contests. The Tigers rank 17th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.99), 32nd in scoring margin (+12.3) and 64 in field goal percentage (41.7).
Carter Named Finalist for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Senior guard Brittany Carter was named one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award on Wednesday. Memphis' leading scorer with 15.7 ppg, Carter is a three-time team captain and is coming off a 16-point effort in the win over Marshall on Thursday night. The Covington, Ga., already has one degree in hand, having graduated with a degree in criminal justice last December, and is currently working on a second degree in sports administration. A member of the Tiger 3.0 Club following the fall semester, Carter spent the summer working with Morgan Keegan in Memphis and following a possible professional basketball career, has aspirations to become an FBI agent.
Jack of All Trades Collier
Senior guard Danay Collier has had to do a little of everything for Memphis this season. She backs up either the one or two guard spots and has filled in as the team's primary defensive stopper when Ramses Lonlack needs a break.
Collier had a career-high six steals against Southern Miss on Thursday night, but struggled (as did the rest of the team) to connect her shot. She was 2-for-11 from the field and was scoreless from three-point range.
After going 5-for-5 from three at Southern Miss and 1-for-1 at UAB, Collier has gone 0-for-11 from beyond the arc in the next three games (Marshall, at East Carolina, Southern Miss).
Tiger Bench Challenged
With Ann Jones missing six C-USA contests due to a knee injury and with Brittany Carter missing the Southern Miss game, the Tiger bench has to step up to more than just spot minutes here and there spelling starters. Since Conference USA play has begun, the Tiger bench has been out-scored by the opponents' bench in six of eight games. In three of those games, the Memphis bench has been outscored by 20 or more points.
In Thursday's game, the Memphis bench out-scored the USM bench, 11-4, but USM dressed just nine players for the game. For the season, the bench is being out-scored 19.0 points to 12.3 ppg (-6.7).
Double-Digit Dickson, Well, Almost
Nicole Dickson has grabbed eight double-doubles this season. That number has been ever so close to being more for Dickson. She finished with 11 rebounds, but nine points in limited minutes at Southern Miss. Then at UAB, she finished with 14 points, but nine rebounds.
Dickson is fighting her way through a scoring slump, shooting under 30 percent in each of the past four games. In the first four C-USA games, she was 22-for-47 from the field (46.8 percent). In the last four games, she has been 13-for-61 (21.3 percent).
In her first year in the starting lineup, she is adjusting to more volume shooting. She has attempted 267 field goals already this year with eight C-USA games remaining. Last year as a sophomore, she had 272 attempts in 32 games, and as a freshman, she has 280 in 33 games.
The return to FedExForum might be just the thing to get the junior back on track. Although she struggled in Memphis' season-opener against Saint Louis at FedExForum, Dickson averaged 19.7 ppg in three games at FedExForum last year (she missed last year's opener vs. Missouri with a concussion). As a freshman, in her first collegiate game (also played at FedExForum), she scored 20 points in a loss to Indiana.
Our Downtown Home
Memphis is playing its second game of the season in FedExForum, the NBA venue that also serves as the home of the Tiger men's team. In Memphis' season-opener, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir hit a three with five seconds left on the clock on her 21st birthday to push Memphis to a 63-60 win over Saint Louis in the front end of a doubleheader with the men's team in FEF.
The Tigers played a program-high four games at the downtown venue last year, going 3-0 in league play in the building after losing to Big 12 foe Missouri in the season opener. Memphis is 4-6 all-time in the building under Melissa McFerrin. It took the Tigers awhile to get adjusted to the significantly bigger arena than their Elma Roane Fieldhouse courts. Memphis is 4-11 all-time in the venue.