Women's Basketball to Host Rematch Tuesday at Home
Nov. 17, 2008
Single game tickets are available for purchase here.
The University of Memphis women's basketball team (1-1) will host a rematch of last year's Thanksgiving Championship game when Louisiana Tech comes to town on Tuesday night for a non-conference match-up at 7 p.m.
The two teams dueled last season in the championship of the Memphis Thanksgiving tournament, with the Lady Techsters using a decisive 47-30 rebounding edge to their advantage in a 82-77 LaTech win.
Louisiana Tech returns two starters from last year's contest, junior forward Shanavia Dowdell and junior guard Tiawana Pringle. Memphis returns three players who started the game last season in Ashley Thornton, Paris Leonard and Alex Winchell.
In one non-conference game, Louisiana Tech made short work of Central Arkansas, defeating the Sugar Bears 77-36 and building a 40-21 lead at the half. Forward Adrienne Johnson, who came off the bench with 14 points against Memphis last year, led LaTech with 22 points on 9-of-22 shooting, while Shanavia Dowdell added a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds. Whitney Jones was the third Lady Techster in double-digits, scoring 12 points with nine rebounds, while Sidney Stewart came off the bench to score 11 points.
Memphis is coming off a 69-60 loss at Belmont Sunday afternoon. The Tigers got into a hole early by giving up seven three-point field goals to five different players in the first 20 minutes of the game. The team kept digging and cut a double-digit lead to single digits at 41-38 with 13:28 to play in the second half, but Belmont hit another three and converted a pair of layups and a free-throw to pull back out in front 49-39 with 9:16 to play.
Memphis would pull to single digits two more times before a late-game flurry of fouling and sending Belmont to the line allowed Memphis to get two three-point field goals from Paris Leonard to cut the final deficit to single digits for the final time.
Ashley Thornton led the Tigers with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Thornton did most of her damage during the second half, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds in the second stanza. Paris Leonard, who was held scoreless during the first half, scored all nine of her points in the second half, while Savannah Ellis came off the bench to corral five second half rebounds in six minutes of play.
This will be the ninth meeting of the series between Memphis and Louisiana Tech, with the Lady Techsters holding a 7-1 lead in the series coming in to Tuesday night. Memphis' only win in the match-up was in 1983-84. The Tigers are 1-3 at home so far against Louisiana Tech.
The game will tip at 7:05 p.m. and Dan O'Brien will have the play-by-play call on WUMR, 91.7 FM.
About Louisiana Tech
The Lady Techsters are 1-0 so far on the young season, having easily handled Central Arkansas, 77-36 in their season-opener.
LaTech has an entirely new assistant coaching staff helping fifth-year head coach Chris Long. Included in the newcomers is Teresa Witherspoon, who is an associate head coach for the program. Witherspoon, a former Louisiana Tech player who helped LaTech to an NCAA Championship in 1988, is familiar with one member of the Tiger coaching staff. She played on the 1997 New York Liberty squad, which advanced to the WNBA Finals. Current Memphis head coach Melissa McFerrin was one of Witherspoon's assistant coaches with the Liberty that season, the same year Witherspoon received her first of two WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
Career Double-Doubles Regina Street (1981-1985) 65 Tamika Whitmore (1996-1999) 45 Keeta Matthews (1992-1996) 36 Kim Duppins (1978-1982) 27 Diane Gary (1990-1992) 17 Linda Street (1978-79) * 17 Wanda Simpson (1982-84) 14 Melissa Abraham (1999-2002) 13 LaTonya Johnson (1994-98) 13 Debra Grandberry (1982-83) 12 Glynetha Davis (1987-89) 11 Phillis Vaughn (1985-87) 11 Monica Glass (1986-87) 10 Ashley Thornton (2005-present) 10New Faces on the Sidelines
For just the fourth time since the women's basketball program was reinstated in 1972-73, the Tigers have a new face on the sideline. Melissa McFerrin was hired on April 18, 2008. McFerrin, who was the 2008 Patriot League Coach of the Year, brings a 50-70 overall record with her to the Tiger program.
She is the program's fourth head coach in the modern era (her complete bio is on page 4 of the notes). She hired an entirely new staff to join her on the sidelines. Danielle O'Banion joins the program after playing at Boston College and coaching a Final Four Minnesota squad. Tempie Brown, a former Big 10 honorable mention player at Michigan, joined the team after spending the past four seasons at Northwestern University in Chicago, while Michael Wholey was McFerrin's first hire at Memphis. Wholey was an assistant coach under McFerrin at American University last season. Tony Martin rounds out the new staff as the Director of Basketball Operations, after spending the past seven seasons working the AAA Memphis Redbirds team in operations.
Lonlack Scores First Career Double-Digit Game
Ellis Helping in Team Rebound Advantage
Conference USA Unsure What's to Come
Memphis was picked to finish 12th last season in the pre-season poll, and ended up finishing tied for sixth.
Leonard Looking for a Grand
Some Early Season Home-Cookin'
Thornton Also Looking to Move Into Career Top 10
Jackson Posts Single Season Top 10 Performance in Just Half a Season
Goldsmith and Lonlack Make First Career Starts
Total Team Effort