Women's Basketball in Tiebreaker Game This Weekend
Go Tigers! Memphis will face Marshall, Thursday, at 7 p.m. (ET) in Huntington.
Go Tigers!
Memphis will face Marshall, Thursday, at 7 p.m. (ET) in Huntington.
Go Tigers!

Feb. 19, 2008

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The University of Memphis women's basketball team (8-17, 5-7 C-USA) and the Marshall women's team (13-13, 5-7 C-USA) will square off to break a tie for seventh-place in the Conference USA standings, Thursday night in Huntington. Marshall holds the tiebreaker over the Lady Tigers as of now via the 69-50 win over Memphis in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Memphis holds the tiebreaker over Tulsa, the third team in the tie, from the 72-49 win Sunday afternoon.

Memphis has alternated wins and losses over the past five games, but is looking to sting together back-to-back wins for just the second time this season. The last back-to-back victories came in a similar situation in that Memphis won at home (over East Carolina), then went out and won the first game of a two-game road swing (at Tulane).

This game is also important to try to stay ahead of surging Tulane and East Carolina teams, both teams Memphis beat earlier in the season. Tulane snapped its seven game losing streak and is 3-1 in its last four games, while East Carolina snapped their five-game skid and has gone 6-2 in their last eight games.

Memphis was led by Latoya Bullard in the win over Tulsa. Bullard finished with a team-high 15 points, her first double-digit scoring night in six games, while Ashley Thornton bounced back from her first career scoreless night with 12 points and seven rebounds in the win. The Lady Tiger bench may have had its best night of the season, outscoring Tulsa 24-14, marking just the fourth time this season that the Memphis bench has outscored the opponent's bench (Memphis is now 3-1 when the Lady Tiger bench puts more points on the board). Every Lady Tiger scored in the win, including eight points and six rebounds from Jessica Jackson and five points and five assists from Alex Winchell.

Marshall is looking to regain some momentum following a 77-67 loss to USM. The Thundering Herd has gone 3-8 since the victory in Memphis earlier this season.

In the first meeting between the two teams, Marshall had four starters score double-digit points and out-rebounded Memphis 55-40. The Lady Tiger offense did not help much, hitting just 26.2 percent from the field, still the lowest-shooting percentage on the season for the Lady Tigers. Guard Chantelle Handy had a double-double for Marshall in the first meeting, scoring 10 points with 13 rebounds, while Kizzy Hart scored 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Casey Baker completed the guard trio of double-digit scorers with 12 points and six rebounds, adding six assists, while Hart led all players with five steals. Tynikki Crook led the frontline for Marshall in that first meeting with 13 points and seven rebounds. For Memphis, Latoya Bullard scored 15 points with five rebounds, while Jessica Hall added 14 points, but the remainder of the team combined for just 18 points.

Memphis vs. Marshall
Memphis is at the point in the season where the Lady Tigers have seen all of their remaining opponents in one game already this season. This is the seventh meeting between Memphis and Marshall and the Lady Tigers are still looking for their first victory against the Thundering Herd. This will be Memphis' third-ever trip to Huntington, and both previous meetings have had similar results, with Marshall winning the first-match up 74-54 and then winning a physical contest last season, 79-57 in Huntington.

Total Team Effort
The Tulsa game marked the first game all season where the entire team scored. Latoya Bullard led Memphis with 15 points, while Ashley Thornton added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Jessica Jackson added eight points and six rebounds off the bench, while Aroha Jennings, Paris Leonard and Jessica Hall all added seven points apiece. Valencia Tucker scored a career-high four points, while Savannah Ellis scored three points. Shekeira Copeland and Shae Seagraves also got in the scoring action with two points apiece. The last time the entire team scored in a game was in February of 2007 when all nine players on the Memphis roster scored in a game against Rice (2/24/07).

Bullard Back in the Offensive Flow
Latoya Bullard scored 15 points in the win over Tulsa, marking her first double-digit scoring outing in six tries. She had scored double-digits in five straight games before going through a five game spurt where the opposing defenses held her to single digit points. With a number of teammates connecting on shots, Bullard also had her best assist outing against Tulsa in eight games, finishing with eight assists against just two turnovers. She now has 83 assists on the season and needs just 17 more to become the first Lady Tiger to get 100 assists in a single season since Tamika Butler finished 2005-06 with 115 assists. Se'erra Fantroy just missed that mark last season, finishing with 96 assists playing an entire season with the Lady Tigers. Bullard has only been eligible for the Lady Tigers for 18 games, and missed the Houston game due to illness.

Bullard is averaging 9.9 points per game heading in to the Marshall contest, and likely needs another double-digit scoring effort to push her average back to double-digits.

Leonard Looking to Regain Stroke
Paris Leonard broke in the career top 25 in scoring at Memphis in the win at UCF, but has gone cold after shooting 8-for-16 in Orlando. In the last two games, Leonard has scored just 11 total points and has gone 4-for-19 (21.1 percent) from the field and 1-for-8 (12.5 percent) from three-point range.

Winchell Starting New Scoring Streak
After having her 12-game scoring streak snapped with a scoreless outing against UAB, freshman Alex Winchell has scored in six straight games for Memphis and is 6-for-16 (37.5 percent) from three-point range in that stretch. She also had five assists in the win over Tulsa, the highest single game total for her since a six-assist night against Louisiana Tech (11/24/07).

Hall Double Digit Streak Snapped
With seven points on 2-of-10 shooting against Tulsa, Jessica Hall had her double-digit point streak snapped at six games. Her 20.0 percent shooting clip against Tulsa was her fourth-lowest single game shooting percentage of the season and the first sub .300 shooting performance since a scoreless outing at UAB (1/6/08).

Jennings Improves to 12-for-12 From Free-Throw Line
This surely will be the jinx, but senior forward Aroha Jennings has hit 12 consecutive free-throws heading in to the Marshall game. Devin Necaise holds the school record with 24 consecutive free-throws made during the 2004-05 season.

Thornton Bounces Back From Scoreless Outing
Junior forward Ashley Thornton bounced back from her first career scoreless outing with 12 poitns and eight rebounds in the win over Tulsa. She also added two assists and two steals in 28 minute of play. After struggling from the free-throw line early this season, Thornton has been a force with the freebies as of late, hitting 19-of-27 attempts in the last 10 games (70.4 percent). She also turned up her rebounding after her average dipped under seven per game for the first time of her career following the Houston game. In the next five games, she grabbed 41 rebounds (8.2/game).

Jackson Has Best Conference Home Outing of Season
With eight points on 3-for-6 shooting against Tulsa, and with six rebounds, junior center Jessica Jackson had her best home conference outing of the year against Tulsa. She has now stretched her scoring streak to six straight games, but has not scored double-digit points since scoring 19 in an overtime loss to Toledo.

Jackson also averaged 6.5 rebounds per game over the weekend, her best two-game weekend average since the UAPB/Toledo losses which saw her post back-to-back double-doubles. She also tied a career-high with three steals in the Tulsa win.

Jennings 23 Points From 600
Senior Aroha Jennings has played in just 56 career games at Memphis heading in to the Marshall contest, but is already pushing the 600 point mark. With 577 career points, she needs just 23 more to pass the 600-point mark for her two-year Lady Tiger career.

Leonard 15 Rebounds Shy of Best Career Single-Season Mark
Junior guard Paris Leonard heads in to the Marshall contest needing just 15 more rebounds to tie her best-ever single season total at Memphis. She has 106 rebounds so far this year. Her freshman season, she had 121 rebounds, then struggled as a sophomore, finishing with just 59 rebounds. She has already set a new personal single-season best with 46 steals with her three steals against Tulsa. That passed her previous best of 45 steals in a single season.

Two Lady Tigers Looking for 300th Career Rebound
Aroha Jennings and Paris Leonard both come in to the Marshall/East Carolina weekend looking for their 300th career rebounds. Leonard is just 14 away (286), while Jennings needs 26 more (274) to pass the 300 rebound mark.

About our 2007-08 Opponents
Memphis will play 29 regular season games, including seven of the first eight at home. Here are how our past and future opponents are doing:

Tennessee Tech (8-19, 7-10 OVC overall): Won second straight game, 69-52, over Austin Peay; hosts Samford Thursday.
Southeastern Louisiana (10-14 overall, 4-7 SLC): Defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 58-48; hosts Nicholls State Saturday.
Creighton (15-8 overall, 8-4 MVC): Upended league-leading Evansville, 82-71; plays at Northern Iowa, Thursday.
Tennessee State (11-15 overall, 8-9 OVC): Fell 83-71 to Murray State; hosts Jacksonville State Saturday.
Louisiana Tech (12-13 overall, 6-6 WAC): Defeated San Jose State, 70-54; hosts Utah State, Feb. 28th.
Alabama A&M (9-12 overall, 7-5 SWAC): Fell to Alabama State, 66-65; hosts Southern Saturday.
Mississippi State (15-11 overall, 3-8 SEC): Fell to No. 24 Georgia 60-56; plays at South Carolina, Thursday.
Belmont (13-13 overall, 7-6 A-Sun): Fell at East Tennessee State, 102-59; hosts Lipscomb, Saturday.
Arkansas (17-8 overall, 2-8 SEC): Came up just short at Florida, 75-73; hosts Vanderbilt, Thursday.
Loyola-Chicago (6-17 overall, 4-8 Horizon): Defeated in-town rival UIC, 63-57; hosts Milwaukee, Thursday.
Florida Gulf Coast (15-8 overall, 10-3 A-Sun): Got back in win column with a 74-67 win at Mercer; plays at Stetson, Saturday.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (8-15 overall, 6-6 SWAC): Defeated Southern, 77-64.
Toledo (10-13 overall, 3-8 MAC): Suffered fifth straight loss, 76-60, to Miami; plays at Ball State, Tuesday.
UAB (11-13 overall, 7-4 C-USA): Fell to fourth in the league standings with a 84-51 loss to SMU; plays at East Carolina, Thursday, in a game that will be televised on CSTV.
Marshall (13-11 overall, 5-6 C-USA): Defeated UCF, 71-64; hosts Memphis Thursday.
East Carolina (12-13, 6-6 C-USA): Picked up their sixth win in their last eight games with a 78-69 win over UCF; hosts UAB Thursday.
Tulane (14-10 overall, 4-7 C-USA): Continue their surge with a 73-69 win over Houston; plays at UCF Friday.
UTEP (21-2 overall, 12-0 C-USA): Remains unbeatean in league play following a 65-53 win over Rice; plays at Southern Miss, Friday.
Houston (14-11 overall, 8-3 C-USA): Fell 73-69 at Tulane; plays at Tulsa Thursday.
Rice (9-16 overall, 2-9 C-USA): Fell at No. 24 UTEP; plays at SMU Friday.
Southern Miss (14-10 overall, 5-6 C-USA): Fell at East Carolina, 68-63; plays hosts UTEP on Friday.
UCF (8-17 overall, 1-11 C-USA): Fell to East Carolina, 78-69; hosts Tulane, Friday.
SMU (19-4 overall, 9-3): Beat UAB for second place in C-USA standings, 84-51; hosts Rice Friday.
Tulsa (9-16 overall, 5-7): Lost at Memphis, 72-49; hosts Houston, Thursday.



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