Tigers Venture to Middle Tennessee for Second Round Matchup
Go Tigers! Memphis plays at Middle Tennessee Sunday in the second round of the Preseason WNIT.
Go Tigers!
Memphis plays at Middle Tennessee Sunday in the second round of the Preseason WNIT.
Go Tigers!

Nov. 10, 2012

The game will be streamed on ESPN3.com here.

Middle Tennessee NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Tigers vs. Middle Tennessee
This is the 19th meeting between Memphis and Middle Tennessee. Memphis leads the overall series 10-8, but has lost the last two meetings, including an 89-83 decision in Murfreesboro in the last game on Dec. 19, 2002. There is one link between the two programs, as senior guard Jamila Ajanaku transferred to Memphis from Middle Tennessee over the summer in order to be closer to her family. She is still awaiting word from the NCAA on a waiver to play this season after playing three seasons in Murfreesboro.

The two teams are meeting to see who plays again on Wednesday night in the Preseason WNIT Semifinals. The winner of this game faces the winner of the Iowa/Illinois State game in the semifinals.

Season Openers
With the win over Grambling State , the Tigers improved to 22-19 all-time in season openers. That was the first time Memphis has opened its regular season in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse since 2008-09, Coach McFerrin's first year at Memphis. The Tigers won that first game 64-47, then for the next three seasons, opened their respective seasons in games played at FedExForum.

The 50-point margin of victory was the third-largest margin of victory in a season opener for any Tigers squad and the biggest margin of victory in a season opener since 1976. It is the biggest margin of victory for a Memphis team since an 88-38 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 13th, 2003.

Margins of Victory in Season Opener
64 points 1976
58 points 1978
50 points 2012
46 points 1972
26 points 2003

With the Win
- Memphis improves to 79-53 under Melissa McFerrin. McFerrin is starting her fifth season at Memphis this year.
- Improves its record to 1-1 in the Preseason WNIT. The Tigers' only other experience in the Preseason WNIT was in 1995, when they lost 89-81 to Drake.
- Improved to 22-19 in season-openers all-time and to 3-2 in openers under McFerrin
- Memphis advances to the Second Round of the Preseason WNIT

20-20 Vision
Two Tigers scored 20 or more points in Friday night's win. Freshman Mooriah Rowser led all players with 24 points, on 12-for-20 shooting. Senior forward Nicole Dickson also went for 20 points, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 3-for-5 from three-point range.

It's appropriate that Rowser and Dickson both went over 20 in the same game. The last time a Memphis freshman scored 20 points in her first collegiate game, it was then-freshman Nicole Dickson scoring 20 points on Indiana in FedExForum.

And in Other Freshmen News
Ariel Hearn was the other true freshman in the starting lineup on Friday night. She made the most of her opportunity to get some playing time, playing 30 minutes and dishing out 12 assists, adding seven points, three rebounds and two steals. That was the first time a Tiger has had double-digit assists since Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 10 assists in a win at Southern Miss last season.

Developing the Bench
With eight newcomers on the roster this year, and with five of those being freshmen, the Tigers' coaching staff has its hands full in trying to figure out the rotations of the team. With the game in hand against Grambling State, the coaches got to see all 12 players on Friday night, giving everyone some teaching film to work from.

One Transfer Contributing Already
While the Tigers' await word from the NCAA on the waiver for Jamila Ajanaku, junior center Pa'Sonna Hope is already taking advantage of her new situation. After transferring from Ole Miss after summer school, Hope was the first Tiger off the bench to check into the game after starting center Ann Jones picked up her second foul early in the game. Hope made an immediate impact, hitting a jumper outside the lane, and ended up as the team's third double-digit scorer while playing just 17 minutes. Hope was 5-for-10 from the field, finishing with 10 points, and added seven rebounds, three assists and a block.

Dickson Fills Up the Stat Sheet
Everyone is used to senior forward Nicole Dickson in the points column, but she filled the sheet up on Friday night. With her seven rebounds, she moved to 18th in school history with 568 rebounds. With her 20 points, she hopped up to 19th in all-time scoring with 1,086 points and with three made three-point field goals, she moved to 115 for her career.

Dickson also tied a career high with blocked shots, finishing with three stuffs on the night.

Dickson Named Pre-Season All-C-USA
Senior forward Nicole Dickson was voted to the Conference USA Preseason All-Conference team by the league coaches. The Greeneville, Tenn., native was a second team, all-conference honoree last year and has already started working her name into the Memphis record books. She currently ranks 20th in school history with 1,064 points through three seasons and eighth in Memphis history with 112 three-point field goals made. She needs 19 more triples to move to seventh in career threes, where former Tiger Kelly Herron (1995-2001) currently sits. In the exhibition game against Rhodes, Dickson played just 23 minutes and almost had a double-double, finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Tigers Picked Fifth in C-USA Preseason Poll
Despite the loss of five seniors from last year's roster, including C-USA Player of the Year Jasmine Lee, C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Ramses Lonlack and three-time All-C-USA honoree Brittany Carter, the C-USA coaching pool has still has lofty expectations of the 2012-13 Memphis roster with eight newcomers, picking the Tigers to finish fifth in the C-USA Preseason Coaches' Poll.

2012-13 C-USA Coaches' Poll
1. Tulane (5)
2. UTEP (5)
3. UAB (1)
4. Rice
5. Memphis (1)
6. Tulsa
7. Southern Miss
8. SMU
9. UCF
10. Houston
11. East Carolina
12. Marshall
(# of first place votes in parentheses)

If the exhibition game was any sign of what's to come for the Tigers, the newcomers could be an impressive bunch. Freshmen guards Mooriah Rowser and Ariel Hearn each tallied double-digits in the game, with Rowser finishing with a team-high 17 points, while Hearn was right behind with 16 points. Rowser also led Memphis with five steals, adding three assists and a steal in 34 minutes of play. She was also a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line and was 6-for-9 from the field. Hearn was 6-for-10 from the field (1-for-4 from three) and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. She added four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 23 minutes. Off the bench, newcomers Pa'Sonna Hope and Asianna Fuqua-Bey each grabbed eight rebounds, while Courtney Powell added seven points and three rebounds. Jaymie Jackson was the final newcomer who played in the exhibition game, adding four points, two assists and two rebounds. Fellow newcomers Devin Mack and Jamila Ajanaku did not play in the exhibition game. Ajanaku is still waiting for an approval or denial from the NCAA of her waiver to play this season.

Opponent Check-Up

Grambling State (0-1): Dropped their opener, 92-42, in the Preseason WNIT First Round.
Middle Tennessee (1-0): Won their opener against Kennesaw State, 87-45; hosts Memphis, Sunday.
Texas-Arlington (0-1): Lost their season opener at George Washington, 80-47; plays at Michigan State, Sunday.
Prairie View A&M (0-1): Lost to fellow C-USA member Rice in their opener, 57-42; hosts Stephen F. Austin, Tuesday.
East Tennessee State (0-0): Opens season at Virginia Tech, Saturday.
UALR (0-0): Picked to win the West in the Sun Belt and had three pre-season all-conference honorees; opens season at Tulsa on Monday.
Illinois (0-0): Won their exhibition opener under new head coach Matt Bollant, 89-37; opens regular season against Evansville on Sunday.
Alabama A&M (0-0): Won exhibition game, 64-62, over Montevallo; opens season against C-USA foe UAB on Monday.
Saint Louis (0-1): Lost at Missouri, 67-51; plays Thursday at UMKC.
Seton Hall (1-0): Won their opener, 69-66, over NJIT; hosts Lafayette, Sunday.
Missouri (1-0): Won their opener, 67-51, over Saint Louis; hosts Chicago State, Monday.
Tennessee Tech (0-0): Picked to win the Ohio Valley East Division under new head coach Jim Davis; opens season against Tennessee Wesleyan on Saturday.
Wright State (0-1): Lost opener at Southeast Missouri, 78-66; hosts IUPUI, Wednesday.
Houston (0-1): Fell just short at Mississippi State, 72-66; hosts Alabama, Tuesday.
Southern Miss (0-1): Dropped opener, 78-41; plays at South Alabama, Friday.
East Carolina (0-1): Fell on the road at William & Mary in their opener, 68-62; hosts St. Andrews, Sunday.
Tulane (1-0): Downed Louisiana Tech in opening game, 66-59; plays at UL Monroe, Monday.
UAB (1-0): Defeated Austin Peay to open the season, 72-54; plays at Alabama A&M, Monday.
UCF (0-1): Fell to Georgia State in opener, 64-50; plays at St. John's Sunday.
Rice (1-0): Defeated Prairie View A&M, 57-42; plays at Tennessee, Thursday.
Marshall (1-0): Got Matt Daniel his first win at Marshall, 65-63, over Radford; plays at Indiana State, Monday.
SMU (0-0): Picked to finish eighth in C-USA preseason poll; junior Akil Simpson named to preseason all-conference team; opens season against Alcorn State, Saturday.
UTEP (0-0): Picked to finish second in preseason coaches poll; junior forward Kayla Thornton named preseason all-conference; opens season against Loyola Marymount, Saturday.
Tulsa (0-1): Fell at cross-town foe Oral Roberts; 64-53; hosts UALR, Monday.



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