March 24, 2010
Game Notes in PDF Format
The season marches on for the University of Memphis women's basketball team (19-13), as the Tigers are still alive in post-season play in the last full week of March. The Tigers will host the Islanders of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (24-10), Thursday, at 7 p.m. in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse in the heart of the University of Memphis campus.
The two teams are looking to advance to the championship game of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI), but will have to duke it out Thursday night to see who represents the West bracket in the championship final.
TAMCC is a member of the Southland Conference, and is coming in having won six of their last seven games, including a 97-89 overtime victory over Cal State-Bakersfield in the WBI opening round, and a 59-58 come from behind victory of Pac 10 foe Washington last weekend.
Memphis comes in having righted the ship after losing three straight games before the WBI started. The Tigers advanced to the semifinals with a 72-67 win over a feisty UMKC squad and a 74-58 win over Wichita State on Sunday.
TAMCC is a team that likes to drive to the hole. Senior guard Jade Davis leads the team in scoring with 15.2 ppg and is one of four Islanders to have attempted more than 100 tries at the free-throw line so far this season. The Islanders also crash the glass hard, with four different players grabbing 5.0 or more missed shots a game. And 61.7 percent of those rebounds are of the defensive nature, holding opponents to one-and-done looks on their own offensive end.
The Tigers have had to shorten their bench due to an injury to junior post Taylor Mumphrey. That will mean a challenge down low for the Tigers, and that the team will lean even more on its pressing defense to force things out in to transition. Memphis is led in scoring by sophomore guard Brittany Carter and has two other Tigers pushing the 10 ppg mark with 9.4 points a night from freshman forward Nicole Dickson and 9.3 ppg from junior guard Alex Winchell. The Tigers will also need offense from sophomore guard Ramses Lonlack (7.9 ppg) and senior guard LaToya Bullard (6.7 ppg) in order to get by a tough Islander squad that has posted a school record 24 wins already this season.
The Series History
This is the first-ever meeting between Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Memphis. The Islanders are members of the Southland Conference and the Tigers have gone 17-7 against the current Southland Conference membership, including a 73-58 win over Northwestern State back in December.
Winchell Sets New Single Season Triple Mark
After hitting 6-of-8 from three-point range on Sunday, junior guard Alex Winchell took over a the Memphis single season record for three-point field goals made. She now has 68 triples this season on 192 attempts, both school single season records. For her career, Winchell now has 145 career threes, ranking fifth, just seven behind Kitty Allen's fourth-place mark with 152. She is also just 17 points shy of her 700th career point in 92 career games.
Carter Moves Up in Single Season Scoring
Sophomore Brittany Carter moved to eighth on the all-time single season scoring list following her 25 point effort against Wichita State. In 32 career games at Memphis, she now has 611 points, which is the 8th-best single season scoring mark in Tiger history. Carter's 19.1 ppg average as a Tiger is the third-best career mark in school history right now, behind Betty Booker and Tamika Whitmore's mark of 20.7 ppg for their respective careers.
Dickson Doubles it Up
Freshman Nicole Dickson opened her collegiate career with a 20-point outing in the loss to Indiana to open the season and the freshman is getting back on track again in the WBI, scoring double digits in seven straight games and in eight of the last nine games. She is now the team's second-leading scorer with 9.4 ppg and has made eight career starts with the absence of Taylor Mumphrey from the Tiger lineup.
Gettin' on the Glass
It will be crucial for all the Tigers to rebound on Thursday night. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi comes in to the game as the No. 10 ranked team in the country with a +8.4 rebound margin over their opponents. Elisa Beagle leads TAMCC with 8.6 boards a night, while Deziree Green adds 7.2 caroms a game. Two other Islanders average over 5.0 boards an outing (Adrienne Scott and Myeisha Myles).
Moving Your Feet
It will be crucial for the Tiger defense to be talking and working hard. TAMCC makes a living at the free-throw line, attempting 241 more free throws on the season than their opposition.
Four different Islanders have 100 or more tries from the charity stripe (Jade Davis, Adrienne Scott, Elisa Beagle and Deziree Green). All four are starters who apparently like to go right to the hole. Memphis will have to avoid foul trouble, especially with a short nine-player Tiger bench.
First Post Season Appearance for Memphis Since 2003-04
The Tigers are making their first post-season appearance since the 2003-04 season, when Memphis advanced to the second round of the WNIT. Memphis opened that tournament with a win at home against Tulsa, a team that would join Conference USA a year later, then fell on the road at Western Kentucky. In the program's 35-year history, Memphis has appeared in 12 post-season tournaments, appearing in the NCAA tournament seven times, the WNIT tournament four times and a 1982-83 appearance in the National Women's Invitational. The deepest any Tiger squad has gone in any post season tournament was a WNIT Final Four appearance in 1998-99.
With the win over Wichita State Sunday, Memphis improves to 11-12 all-time in post season games.
Have to Make Home Court Count
Memphis has won 10 straight games in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse to improve to 11-2 in the on-campus gym. TAMCC is also very good in road games, posting a 7-4 record away from their home court.
Dickson Grabs Double-Double in First Collegiate Post Season Game
Freshman Nicole Dickson scored 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting and added 10 rebounds in the win over UMKC for her first collegiate double-double in her first collegiate post-season game.
Luellen-Higgins Steps Up in Mumphrey's Absence
Junior post Starkitsha Luellen-Higgins stepped up in the absence of fellow junior Taylor Mumphrey Thursday night, grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds and tying a career high with five points in the win over UMKC. The Memphis native also added two steals in a career-high 24 minutes of play.