Several Lady Tigers Honored at Team Banquet
April 9, 2001
MEMPHIS, TENN. - The Lady Tiger basketball banquet was a time to reflect on the season and a time to honor several players for their accomplishments throughout the season. Head coach Joye Lee-McNelis opened the banquet with a few thoughts on some of the first that happened during the season.
McNelis pointed out to the crowd that this year was the first year that The U of M had ranked in the Top 50 in attendance as the Lady Tigers averaged 2,051 fans at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. It also marked the first time that Memphis had ranked in the top 13 in the southeast for attendance. Memphis also had a 28 percent increase in attendance as well as a 20 percent increase in season ticket sales this season. McNelis also added that this was the first time since the start of Conference USA that Memphis had defeated both Tulane and Southern Miss on the road.
The Lady Tigers finished the year with a 17-13 record, marking the eighth straight winning season for McNelis. Memphis' first round showing in the post-season WNIT also marked Memphis' seventh straight post-season tournament. The Lady Tigers, which started the season at 5-0 for the first time in 12 years, also own an impressive 75-16 record at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Several Lady Tigers were honored at the banquet as well. Malissa Bush, who will forgo her senior season because of chronic shin splints, received the most awards, including Best Defense, the Lady Tiger Award (for leadership and attitude) and the Les Phillips Award for team spirit. Bush finished the season as the third-leading scorer and fourth-leading rebounder, averaging 8.9 points and 4.7 boards per game. Bush was also honored as a senior since she has actually spent four years with the Lady Tigers. After five games of action in her true freshman season, she suffered stress fractures in her legs that caused her to miss the rest of the year. She received a medical hardship, and regained her freshman season.
Tiffany Adkins, who was named as a first teamer on the All-C-USA team, received the Best Offense award and was named the Most Outstanding Player on the team. Adkins led the Lady Tigers in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds a game. She scored 20 or more points 13 times this season, including a career high 37 points against Mississippi State. Adkins most recently returned from Chicago where she was the third Lady Tiger in school history invited to the WNBA's pre-draft camp. The WNBA draft will be held on April 20.
Freshman Princess Swilley, who was named to the C-USA all-freshman team, was honored with the Hustle Award and senior Tiffany Collins received the Play Maker Award. Senior Patrice Boyd and sophomore Shannon Hamp rounded out the honors, receiving the Iron Woman Award and the Unsung Player Award, respectively. Bush and junior Lauren Jackson were also presented honors by the C-USA office for the Commissioner's List.