Women's Basketball Announces 2012-13 Slate
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The University of Memphis women's basketball team announced its 2012-13 schedule, Tuesday. The Tigers, who finished 25-8 and advanced to the second round of the WNIT tournament last season, will open their season with three games as part of the Preseason WNIT.
Memphis hosts Grambling State in the first round of the Preseason WNIT, Nov. 9th, and the Tigers' next two games will depend on the outcome vs. Grambling State. That Preseason WNIT match-up features two of the top recruiting classes in the country. Memphis' freshman class was ranked the No. 39 recruiting class in the country by ESPN's HoopGurlz.com, while Grambling State's class ranked No. 44 in the same poll.
The Tigers then return a non-conference game at the University of Texas-Arlington (Nov. 21), giving new assistant coach Erin Grant a trip home to Texas and a meeting against her former high school coach and former boss, as Grant began her collegiate coaching career on UTA head coach Samantha Morrow's staff at UT Arlington. Following a visit to Memphis by 2012 NCAA team Prairie View A&M (Nov. 25), the Tigers will take senior forward Nicole Dickson home for a non-conference, in-state match-up against East Tennessee State, Nov. 30.
To open December, Memphis will play three straight home games, including another NCAA tournament team from 2012 (UALR, Dec. 7), a Big 10 opponent (Illinois, Dec. 9) and an Alabama A&M squad that finished 17-12 last season. Illinois is under the guidance of new head coach Matt Bolant, while the Tigers' first road opponent in December is also under a new head coach, as former Wisconsin coach Lisa Stone has assumed the reins at Saint Louis. The Tigers and the Billikens will face off Dec. 19 in St. Louis, with the Billikens looking to avenge a 63-60 loss in both team's season-openers last season. Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir drained a three-point field goal with five seconds left in the game at FedExForum. Memphis closes out its December travel slate with a sneak peek at future BIG EAST opponent Seton Hall on Dec. 22, returning a trip the Pirates made to the Elma Roane Fieldhouse last season.
The Tigers close out the 2012 year with a rematch against Missouri, now an SEC opponent, on Dec. 28, then hosts Tennessee Tech (Dec. 31) to wrap up the calendar year.
With three Ohio natives on the Tiger roster, Memphis also added an Ohio-based opponent to the slate to wrap up the non-conference part of the schedule. The Tigers will host WBI quarterfinalists Wright State, Jan. 5, before opening Conference USA play on the road at Houston on Jan. 10. The trip to Houston will be the fourth trip to Hofheinz Pavillion in five seasons for the Tigers. Memphis then hosts Southern Miss (Jan. 13) and East Carolina (Jan. 17), then plays at Tulane (Jan. 20) and UAB (Jan. 24) before returning home to host UCF (Jan. 27) and Rice (Jan. 31) in a busy January schedule. Memphis opens February with two road games sandwiched around the Tigers' bye date. The Tigers will play at Marshall (Feb. 3), have the following Thursday off as the bye date, then face UCF in Orlando on Feb. 10. Memphis then hosts UAB (Feb. 14) and SMU (Feb. 17) before venturing to Southern Miss, Feb. 21. The month of February will wrap up with a home game against UTEP (Feb. 24) and a road contest at 2013 C-USA tournament hosts Tulsa, Feb. 28.
The regular season slate will close with a pair of contests in March - a road game at East Carolina (Mar. 3) and a home game against Marshall (Mar. 7). Memphis then participates in the C-USA Championships Mar. 13-16th at the Convention Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Season tickets will go on sale in the coming week. Watch www.GoTigersGo.com for more information on tickets.
Memphis returns two starters and six letterwinners from last year's 25-8 squad and has added eight new student-athletes and two new coaches to the 2012-13 squad. Head coach Melissa McFerrin has guided the Tigers to three straight seasons with 20 or more wins and three straight post-season berths, including a second round WNIT appearance last season.