Women's Basketball Facing Arkansas in WNIT First Round Thursday

March 20, 2013

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Memphis (17-14,8-8) at Arkansas (19-12)
Bud Walton Arena

(Fayetteville, Ark.)

Thurs., March 21, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. 

Memphis Tiger Logo

Live Coverage

WUMR, 91.7 FM
Streaming Video

RazorVision Productions


Live Stats
 $7 general admission; $11 reserved seats, $6 youth

Tigers Back in the Post Season
The University of Memphis women's basketball team is back in the post season for a fourth straight year. The Tigers are making their seventh appearance overall in the WNIT and their third straight.

Since Melissa McFerrin took over the program in 2008-09, the Tigers have appeared in a post season tournament in four of the five years she has headed up the program. They were finalists in the WBI tournament in 2009-10, then advanced to the WNIT first round in 2010-11, falling to Alabama in the first round. Last year, Memphis used a 60-59 win over Chattanooga to advance to the WNIT Second Round, where they lost to Missouri State, 82-65, on the road. Memphis is 6-6 all-time in WNIT games, with Memphis' deepest run in the draw coming in the 1998-99 season, when they advanced to the WNIT semifinals, where they lost at Wisconsin.

Memphis in the WNIT
1998-99 WNIT Semifinals (3-1)
1999-2000 WNIT Second Round (1-1)
2000-01 WNIT First Round (0-1)
2003-04 WNIT Second Round (1-1)
2010-11 WNIT First Round (0-1)
2011-12 WNIT Second Round (1-1)

 Tigers Against Arkansas
This will be the 20th meeting between Memphis and Arkansas. Arkansas leads the overall series, 11-8, including an eight-game winning streak against the Tigers dating back to the 2001 season.

The two teams last faced off in 2008, Melissa McFerrin's first year with the Tigers, and the last year of a four-year contract between the two teams. Arkansas came in to FedExForum and won that game, 76-69. Memphis' last appearance in Fayetteville was on Dec. 18, 2007, under previous head coach Blair Savage-Lansden, an Arkansas graduate. Arkansas won that meeting, 91-66 to improve to 7-1 all-time against Memphis in games played in Fayetteville.

Guiding Youngsters Into the Postseason
The Tiger roster sports a roster with eight players new to the University of Memphis in 2012-13. That total includes five freshmen, four of whom will be playing in their first-ever post-season games (freshman Mooriah Rowser went out in the third game of the season with a season-ending knee injury).

Memphis lost a lot from the 2011-12 team coming into this season.The Tigers graduated the 2012 C-USA Player of the Year in Jasmine Lee, a Georgia transfer who averaged a double-double for Memphis last year. They also graduated a three-time All-C-USA defensive team member and the 2012 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in Ramses Lonlack. If that wasn't enough, Memphis also graduated three-time All-C-USA honoree Brittany Carter, another Georgia transfer who is now a member of the 1,000 career point club at Memphis. With so much lost from last year's team, this year's crop of newcomers had some big shoes to fill. They responded quickly. The Tigers' have started games with two or three freshmen in the starting line up for a majority of the season.

Dickson Named First Team All-Conference USA
Senior Nicole Dickson was voted to the Conference USA First TeamIt is her second all-conference honor and her first first-team award. Dickson led Conference USA in scoring with 18.9 ppg and ranked 12th in rebounding with 7.1 rebounds per game. She is capping her career in the top 10 at Memphis in scoring (1,642 points), seventh in rebounding (780 rebounds), sixth in blocked shots (62) and fourth in three-point field goals made (172). This is Dickson's third career honor from the league office. She was also named to the C-USA All-Freshman team in 2010.

She has been named the C-USA Player of the Week four times this season, the first player in Memphis history to earn the league's weekly honor four times in the same season.

Dickson was also named the CollegeSportsMadness.com C-USA Player of the Year.

Hearn Voted to All-Freshman Team
Freshman guard Ariel Hearn was voted to the C-USA All-Freshman Team. Hearn was the Tigers' second-leading scorer with 13.5 ppg and leads Memphis with 105 assists. She is the first Memphis freshman since 1982-83 to have 100 or more assists in a season and is the fourth straight Tiger guard to have 100 assists in a season (LaToya Bullard, Alex Winchell, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir were the first three). She was named the C-USA Freshman of the Week three times and was named the CollegeSportsMadness.com Player of the Week for C-USA once.

Team Honors
The University of Memphis women's basketball team had its team banquet before the conference tournament and presented a handful of team awards. Freshman guard Ariel Hearn received the Most Improved Player Award, freshman guard Jaymie Jackson received Best Defensive Award, freshman forward Asianna Fuqua-Bey received both the Best Rebounder and Coaches' Award and senior forward Nicole Dickson received the Best Offensive Award. Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir received the Les Phillips Award, a perpetual award in honor of former Tiger fan Les Phillips and presented each year to the Tiger who exemplifies everything great about being a Tiger.

Abdul-Qaadir Named to C-USA All-Academic Team
Junior guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir was named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team, becoming the first Tiger since Devin Necaise in 2007 to earn the academic honor.

Abdul-Qaadir sports a 3.71 GPA in Exercise and Sport Science and will receive her undergraduate degree in August. She plans on attending physical therapy school when she is done with her playing career, a good choice for a Tiger who missed her entire freshman season to a knee injury and who missed seven games this season with a broken right (shooting) hand. She bounced back from that injury to rank third on the team in scoring with 10.5 ppg and has played in 23 of Memphis' 30 games, with 21 starts.

The team co-captain with Nicole Dickson, Abdul-Qaadir is a three-time C-USA Academic Honor Roll honoree and has been named to the Dean's List at Memphis three times.

Opponent Check-Up

Grambling State (9-23, 6-12 SWAC): Won their SWAC First Round game, 80-56, over Alabama State, then lost to Texas Southern; season complete.


Middle Tennessee (24-7, 17-3 Sun Belt): Won the Sun Belt Championship over UALR, 53-48; plays Louisville in NCAA tournament, Sunday.

Illinois State

Illinois State (23-10, 13-5 Missouri Valley): Advanced to the finals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament; hosts IUPUI in WNIT, Thursday.

UTA Mavs

Texas-Arlington (7-23, 4-14 WAC): Lost to New Mexico State in the opening round of the WAC tournament; season complete.

Prairie View A&M

Prairie View A&M (17-14, 11-7 SWAC): Won their third straight SWAC title in four overtimes, 100-87, over Mississippi Valley; plays at top seeded Baylor, Sunday.

East Tennessee State (8-18, 6-12 A-Sun): Season complete with a 66-55 loss to Stetson in the Atlantic Sun tournament; head coach Karen Kemp announced her retirement; season complete.

UALR (24-8, 14-6 Sun Belt): Lost in the championship game of the Sun Belt tournament to Middle Tennessee, 53-48; plays at Pacific in WNIT on Friday.

Illinois (16-14, 9-10 Big 10): Lost to Wisconsin in Big 10 tournament opening round, 58-57; hosts Miami (Ohio) in WNIT First Round, Thursday.

Alabama A&M (9-20, 8-10 SWAC): Lost to Mississippi Valley State in the quarterfinals of the SWAC tournament; season complete.

Saint Louis (12-19, 5-9 Atlantic 10): Lost in the Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals to Fordham, 65-48; season complete.

Seton Hall (11-20, 5-11 BIG EAST): Lost to St. John's in the second round of the BIG EAST tournament, 51-45; season complete.

Missouri (17-14, 6-10 SEC): Lost to Vanderbilt in the first round of the SEC tournament; hosts Eastern Illinois in WNIT First Round, Thursday.

Tennessee Tech (19-12, 12-4 OVC): Lost in the Ohio Valley Conference championship game in overtime, 87-80; season complete.

Wright State (12-18, 6-10 Horizon League): Lost to Detroit in Horizon League Quarterfinals, 72-56; season complete.

Houston (13-17, 7-9 C-USA): Lost to UCF, 74-59, in C-USA Championships; season complete.

Southern Miss (15-16, 6-10 C-USA): Lost to East Carolina, 89-60, in C-USA quarterfinals; season complete.

East Carolina (22-9, 11-5 C-USA): Lost to eventual tournament champion, Tulsa, 72-59; will play at Western Kentucky in WNIT, Thursday.

Tulane (22-8, 11-5 C-USA): Lost to eventual tournament champs, Tulsa, 75-68; hosts Sam Houston State in the WNIT First Round, Thursday.

UAB (18-12, 9-7 C-USA): Lost to UTEP, 61-59, plays at Auburn in WNIT first round, Tuesday night.

UCF (16-18, 7-9 C-USA): Lost in championship game to host Tulsa, 75-66; season complete.

Rice (14-16, 6-10 C-USA): Lost to eventual tournament champion, Tulsa, 74-52, in C-USA First Round; season complete.

Marshall (9-21, 3-13 C-USA): Lost to UTEP in C-USA First Round, 70-59; season complete.

SMU (22-10, 11-4 C-USA): Upset by No. 8 seed UCF, 70-66, at C-USA tournament; plays at Bowling Green in WNIT, Thursday.

UTEP (20-8, 8-7 C-USA): Lost to UCF in C-USA semifinals, 89-77; season complete.

Tulsa (17-16, 8-8 C-USA): Won C-USA Championship with a 75-66 win over UCF; plays at No. 1 seeded Stanford, Sunday.



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