Women's Basketball Hosting Lone Exhibition Game Sunday
Nov. 4, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - -Upcoming Schedule
Date -- Opponent -- Location -- Time (Central)
November 7 -- Christian Brothers -- Elma Roane Fieldhouse -- 2 p.m. (CT)
November 12 -- Missouri -- FedExForum -- 5 p.m.
November 15 -- Grambling State -- Elma Roane Fieldhouse -- 7 p.m.
Where to See/Hear it
The University of Memphis women's basketball team will host its lone exhibition game on Sunday, at 2 p.m., in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse against cross-town foe Christian Brothers University.
This will be Tiger fans' only chance to see the team before the regular season kicks off, as the Tigers used one of their competition dates for a closed scrimmage against NAIA defending national champion Union University last weekend to begin preparations for the season.
Memphis returns four starters from last year's 20-14 squad, and has eight total letterwinners back for this year. Of that eight, six different players started games at some point for Memphis last year, including C-USA leading scorer Brittany Carter (Covington, Ga./Covington/Univ. of Georgia). Carter, a junior guard, was the C-USA Newcomer of the Year and was the team's lone double-digit scorer at 19.2 ppg last season, despite drawing a bulk of the opposition's defensive attention.
Carter should have more scoring help this season. Joining the Memphis roster are six new faces, including a trio of players who had to sit out last season. Mary Jackson (Memphis/Oakhaven/Univ. of Louisville) and Jasmine Lee (Bessemer, Ala./Jess Lanier HS/Univ. of Georgia) will return to the floor after missing last season due to NCAA transfer rules, and point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir (Springfield, Mass./New Leadership Charter) will step on the floor after missing last season due to injury.
Joining that trio will be a pair of junior college players and a true freshman. Kiana James (Jackson, Miss./Callaway HS/Southwest Tennessee CC) and junior college All-American Danay Collier (Bronx, N.Y./John F. Kennedy/Monroe CC) will give the Tigers another pair of experienced scorers, while freshman KK Harvey (Dallas, Texas/North Mesquite HS) steps back on the court for the first time since her junior season of high school after missing her senior season due to knee surgery.
The Tigers frontcourt has more depth than in any previous McFerrin-coached team. Seniors Savannah Ellis (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Heights), Starkitsha Luellen-Higgins (Memphis/Melrose/Southwest Tennessee CC) and Taylor Mumphrey (Dallas, Texas/Cedar Hill/Connors State JC) anchor the front line. Ellis is also fourth in school history in career blocks and has 92 career games with 54 starts under her belt. Luellen-Higgins has battled injury throughout the later part of pre-season camp, but played in 27 games last year after missing all of the pre-season last year recovering from surgery. Mumphrey played in 30 games last year and was leading the team in blocked shots when she suffered a knee injury in practice before the WBI rounds started. Mumphrey is fully-recovered from the knee injury and her length will again be an influence in the paint for Memphis.
Joining the front court will be James, Lee and Harvey. James is an athletic post who averaged a double-double at Southwest Tennessee. Lee is an intimidating presence in the paint, but will have to get back up to speed after sitting out last season after transferring from Georgia. Harvey will also be trying to get up to speed, and will also need to make the adjustment to the college game.
The Tigers backcourt returns senior Alex Winchell (Atlanta, Ga./South Gwinnett HS), junior Ramses Lonlack (Bertoua, Cameroon/Stoneleigh-Burnham School) and Carter. Winchell ranks fifth in Memphis history in career threes and carries 94 career games with 51 starts worth of experience with her this year. Lonlack was named to the Conference USA All-defensive team after leading the league in steals, and Carter returns after ranking 19th in the country in scoring last year, also leading C-USA.
That trio would have had the services of sophomore Chatia Kelsey (Harvest, Ala./Sparkman HS), but the speedy sophomore suffered a knee injury, needing surgery, and costing her this season. Help has arrived with the addition of Abdul-Qaadir, Collier and Jackson on the outside. Abdul-Qaadir will have to make the adjustment to college basketball, no easy task for any point guard, but may have some help with the arrival of Collier. A junior college player with some point guard experience at Monroe CC last season, Collier may have to help at the point position and has some shooting range to help from beyond the arc. Jackson is a speedy 5-10 defender at the guard spot who will harass Tiger opponents, and is capable of quickly taking the ball the other way and converting it for quick Memphis points.
The regular season will open for Memphis on Friday, November 12th against Big 12 foe Missouri at FedExForum. Fans who have a men's ticket for the Tigers' 8 p.m. game against Centenary will receive free admission in to the women's game, which tips at 5 p.m.
All Memphis home games will be streamed live on www.gotigersgo.com under the Memphis Tiger Vision section on the right hand column. A monthly subscription fee is required for game video and audio only. Pre-game and post-game interviews can be viewed for free on the Tigers' official You Tube page under SIDMemphis.