Feb. 24, 2010
Game Notes in PDF Format
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The University of Memphis women's basketball team (16-10, 9-4 C-USA) will wrap up its regular season schedule at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Thursday night against the Marshall Thundering Herd (14-12, 6-7 C-USA), at 7 pm. The first 250 Tiger fans in the door receive a set of 2010 women's basketball trading cards and Pouncer's Pals members will have a pre-game pizza party with Pouncer before the game.
Memphis is looking to try to stay in the top four in the league standings, currently standing in second place, two games ahead of East Carolina (Memphis' Saturday opponent), SMU and Houston. Marshall comes in having gone 1-4 in their last five games and looking to recover some momentum heading in to the league tournament.
The Tigers may have limited services available for senior point guard LaToya Bullard, who fell on her elbow in the win at UTEP Saturday night, but don't expect any sympathy cards from the Thundering Herd. In Memphis' 57-50 win in Huntington earlier this season, Marshall was without leading scorer Tynikki Crook, who had broke her hand in a win at Houston, missing three weeks of the conference schedule. Crook returned to the lineup just two games ago, sparking Marshall to a 65-56 win over UTEP, where she finished with 15 points and six rebounds. But seniors Chantelle Handy and Kendra King will also be a handful for a Memphis front line that can't key just on Crook. King had a career-high 17 points with 12 rebounds in the first meeting with Memphis, while Handy came back from first half foul trouble to finish with seven points and eight rebounds in just 18 minutes of play. That trio will be a formidable challenge for the Tigers on the box-out, as all three average over 6.0 rebounds a game, helping the Herd out-rebound opponents 41.1 to 36.5 in league play. A good share of those rebounds for Marshall come off the offensive glass (200 of the team's 534 boards), so Tiger defensive rebounds will have to find a body and get their hands on a ball if they hope to negate Marshall's big rebounding advantage inside.
This will also serve as a homecoming for Thundering Herd senior Angelica Harris and junior Mystee Dale. Dale ranks 40th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio, leading Marshall with 85 assists against just 47 turnovers, while Harris has played in 22 of the team's 26 games with two starts.
The Series History
This is the 12th meeting between Memphis and Marshall and Memphis is looking to string together back-to-back wins in the series for the first time in school history. Prior to the Tigers 57-50 victory in Huntington earlier this season, Memphis was 0-10 all-time against the Thundering Herd.
Winchell Looking to Move Up in Career Threes
Junior guard Alex Winchell needs just three more three-point field goals to move in to a tie for sixth on the Memphis all-time records for shots made from beyond the arc. Winchell has 128 threes, and currently ranks seventh all-time on the Tiger list. If she can knock down three more triples sometime in the next three regular season games, she will move to sixth all-time, a mark currently held by Kelly Herron (1993-97).
Different Looking Marshall Squad Than the First Game
Memphis picked up a tough road win against the Thundering Herd in the first game, but Marshall was then without junior forward Tynikki Crook, who had broke her hand in a win at Houston prior to the first match up with the Tigers. Crook is back for this meeting with the Tigers though, and leads Marshall with 13.6 ppg and 7.3 rebounds per game. She also has a team-high 36 blocks this season.
Last year against the undersized Tiger posts, Crook averaged 21.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in three match-ups against Memphis (the two faced off in the first round of the C-USA tournament). She was also 22-for-38 from the field (58 percent) and was 21-for-25 from the free-throw line (84.0 percent). At the C-USA tournament, she was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line, while the entire Marshall squad was a perfect 18-for-18 in the win that ended the Tigers' season.
Memphis is bigger and deeper up front than it was last year, but will have a highly-confident Herd player to deal with.
Carter in the Clutch
Brittany Carter added to her clutch-shooting lore in the win at UTEP on Saturday. With the Tigers missing senior point guard LaToya Bullard after Bullard went down with 17:11 to play in the second half with an injury, UTEP made a run to cut a once-10 point Tiger lead to a tie at 55-55 with 1:48 to play. Carter had teamed with Taylor Mumphrey as the duo scored eight points to build up a 10 point lead with 9:06 to play, but Memphis then went without a field goal until the 5:43 mark when Carter converted a layup. Carter scored Memphis' final eight points, twice breaking a tie score to put the Tigers back in front. Her double-pump layup in the paint with 26 seconds to go was all Memphis would need to pick up its first-ever win at UTEP.
Bullard in a Helping Mood
Senior guard LaToya Bullard missed all of last season while recovering from a back surgery, so it took the senior a bit to figure out Melissa McFerrin's system. But if recent numbers are any indication, the Memphis native has figured it out just fine, thank you. Bullard had an 11-assist game in the win over Southern Miss, then added eight assists in a win over UCF. She had her third-straight game with seven or more assists, handing out seven assists while coming off the bench at Tulane. The senior had been under the weather earlier in the week, so came off the bench to watch her minutes. Bullard handed out four assists against one turnover before leaving the UTEP game due to injury with 17:11 to play.
Over the last four games, Bullard is averaging 7.50 assists per game (30) against just seven turnovers (1.75).
Carter's 49-Point Game Eclipsed
Sophomore guard Brittany Carter had her NCAA Division I single-game best mark of 49 points topped on Feb. 18th as Delaware's Elena Delle Donne scored 54 points in a loss to James Madison. Carter scored 49 points for Memphis in a win over Sacramento State at the University of Washington tournament over Thanksgiving, setting a new Memphis (men's or women's) and C-USA single game record.
But Carter continues to be a consistent scorer for the Tigers, scoring 21 points in the win at UTEP for her 23rd double-digit scoring game since joining Memphis. She has scored single digit points just three times in her young Tiger career, the last being a seven-point night at UCF 10 games ago.
In the last four games, Carter has shot 34-for-67 (50.7 percent) from the field, and is averaging 20.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Been Awhile Since Our Wins Column Has Been This Full
Memphis' win at UTEP gave the Tigers their 16th victory of the season, the most season victories since the 2003-04 season when the Tigers were 21-10. The nine C-USA wins ties the previous-best mark, also from 2003-04 (9-5). Memphis has not won 10 or more C-USA games since the 1999-2000 season, when the Tigers were 11-5.
Two Sweeps in the East; .500 Against the West
Memphis swept two East Division foes (Southern Miss and UCF) and with the win at UTEP, the Tigers managed to go .500 against teams from the West. This is the first time Memphis has swept more than one C-USA East Division foe (last done vs. East Carolina in 2007-08).
This year as been a banner season for a number of reasons for the Tigers, not the least of it being the number of streaks that have been snapped. This year alone, Memphis has:
- snapped an 0-10 record at FedExForum with an overtime win over Rice
- snapped an 0-10 record against Marshall with a win in Huntington in January
- swept two East Division teams (USM, UCF)...Memphis has only swept a regular season series one time previously in school history
- put together back-to-back winning non-conference marks for the first time since the 2003-2004 seasons.
Keeping it Close
The Tigers are a team that has a lot of experience in close games. Seventeen of Memphis' first 26 games were decided by single digits, with Memphis sporting an 11-6 record in games decided by single digits.
In the last eight single digit games heading in to the Marshall game, the Tigers are 7-1.
Single Digit Decisions
11/13 Indiana L, 78-74 -4
11/18 at Missouri W, 75-74 +1
11/29 vs. Eastern Washington L, 58-54 -4
12/4 at Florida InternationalL, 81-72 -9 (includes a last second 3)
12/9 at South Alabama W, 55-50 +5
12/18 Ole Miss L, 73-72 -1 (last second 3 for Ole Miss)
1/2 Saint Louis W, 59-55 +4
1/7 Tulsa * W, 77-72 +5
1/9 SMU * (FEF game)L, 64-59 -5
1/15 at UCF * W, 49-47 +2
1/17 at Southern Miss * W, 60-57 +3
1/23 Rice * (FEF game) W, 59-58 (ot) +1
1/28 at Marshall * W, 57-50 +7
2/7 at Houston * L, 68-62 -6
2/12 Southern Miss * W, 89-85 (ot) +4
2/14 UCF * W, 76-72 +4
2/20 at UTEP * W, 59-57 +2
And if Carter isn't Clutch-Enough For You?
If teams think they can just focus on trying to stop Carter in the final minutes, there is a whole bench full of Tigers looking for their opportunity to tickle the twine. Against Houston, it was senior guard LaToya Bullard who knocked down three straight layups to start a 15-0 run that cut the deficit to four with less than a minute to play. Against Southern Miss, it was junior guard Alex Winchell. The Tigers trailed 85-83 with 1:32 to play in overtime and Nicole Dickson had tracked down an offensive rebound from a Brittany Carter missed jumper. Dickson moved the ball out to LaToya Bullard, who found Winchell in the left corner. Winchell, who had missed a three from the right corner against Houston in the last game, made sure this one suffered no such fate, swirling in the shot that pushed Memphis in front for good 86-85 with 1:03 to go.