Lady Tigers To Play Alabama in WNIT
March 12, 2001
MEMPHIS, TENN. - The University of Memphis Lady Tiger basketball team will compete in their seventh straight post-season appearance this week when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the first round of the WNIT. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 15.
Memphis is 17-12 on the year after losing to Houston in the second round of the Conference USA Tournament. The Lady Tigers have won seven of their last eight games of the season. The Lady Tigers are one of seven C-USA teams to advance to post-season play. Tulane and Louisville received bids to the NCAA Tournament, while Memphis, Houston, UAB, Cincinnati and DePaul will compete in the WNIT. Senior all-America candidate Tiffany Adkins leads Memphis in scoring and rebounding, averaging 17.9 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. Sophomore Shannon Hamp is the only other Lady Tiger in double figures, averaging 10.4 points per game. Senior Patrice Boyd has been a major factor in Memphis' winning streak at the end of the regular season after recording double-doubles in three of the last six games. She averages 7.9 points and 6.1 rebound per contest. Memphis is familiar with the Crimson Tide, having lost to Alabama, 65-55,, earlier this season on the road.
Alabama enters the WNIT with an 18-11 record after defeating Auburn and losing to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament. Junior Shondra Johnson leads Alabama in scoring with 13.4 points per game, while LaNisha Cartwell and Sparkle Smith lead the squad in rebounding, averaging 6.1 boards apiece. Alabama's biggest outside shooting threat will be Beth Vice, who has hit a team-leading 59 three pointers this season.
The Lady TIgers hold a 6-4 series advantage over the Crimson Tide, dating back to the 1975-76 season. Earlier this season, Alabama defeated Memphis, 65-55, in Tuscaloosa. Memphis' last win over Bama was a 77-57 victory during the 1999-00 season. Memphis is 2-3 in games played in Tuscaloosa.
This is the Lady Tigers' third consecutive appearance in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. Last season, Memphis advanced to the second round, but was defeated by Florida. The farthest that Memphis has advanced through the WNIT was in 1999 when they played in the WNIT Final Four and lost to Wisconsin on the road. Memphis is 4-2 in the WNIT, and has hosted five of the six games they have played in. They are 3-1 in WNIT games played at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, and 0-1 in WNIT games played against SEC squads.