Women's Basketball to Host Rematch Tuesday at Home
Go Tigers! Ashley Thornton (above) has had a double-double in each of Memphis' two games this season. She now has 10 for her career, making her one of just 14 Tigers in school history to have double-digit double-doubles.
Go Tigers!
Ashley Thornton (above) has had a double-double in each of Memphis' two games this season. She now has 10 for her career, making her one of just 14 Tigers in school history to have double-digit double-doubles.
Go Tigers!

Nov. 17, 2008

Single game tickets are available for purchase here.

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Louisiana Tech Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

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
This is the ninth meeting in the series between the Tigers and Louisiana Tech. The Lady Techsters lead the overall series, 7-1, including four straight wins coming into Tuesday night's game. The two teams last met in the championship game of the Thanksgiving Classic last season, with LaTech prevailing, 82-77.

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.

Double-Up
Ashley Thornton overcame a slow first half at Belmont to score nine points with eight rebounds in the second half to finish with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the non-conference loss. That double-double was her second of the season and the 10th of her career. She joins some pretty prestigious company with the double-digit double-double, becoming one of just 14 players to hit 10 or more double-doubles for their respective careers.

	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)	        10
New 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
In just her second career start with the Tigers, freshman guard Ramses Lonlack booked her first career double-digit scoring game at Belmont, finishing with 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting. She also added seven rebounds, including four offensive, and three steals while playing a team-high 36 minutes.

Ellis Helping in Team Rebound Advantage
Memphis out-rebounded Belmont, 49-33, for the game, as nine of the 10 players who played grabbed a rebound. Ellis came off the bench to finish the night with seven rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot and one point in 13 minutes of play. She grabbed five of her rebounds in six minutes of play in the second half.

Conference USA Unsure What's to Come
With three returning starters and eight letterwinners, but with an entirely new coaching staff, the remainder of the league coaches are not quite sure what they are in for and as such, have picked Memphis to finish 11th in the league in the pre-season coaches' poll.

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
Senior guard Paris Leonard crossed the 900 point mark with her 17-point effort against Northern Arizona, moving to 901 points for her four-year Memphis career. The lone senior to suit up for Memphis her entire collegiate career, Leonard needs just 90 points to become the 19th player in Memphis history to score 1,000 or more points in her career. Leonard already ranks in the career top 10 in three-point field goals attempted (334) and made (108). She is just 40 steals shy of breaking in to the career top 10 in that category as well.

Some Early Season Home-Cookin'
Memphis is playing seven of its first nine regular games in the Bluff City to start the 2008-09 season, but will alternate home and away games through their first four games. After the Ole Miss game Friday night, the Tigers will have played four games in seven days to start the 2008-09 campaign.

Debate This!
Memphis' first two road games follow the same trail as the first two presidential debates of 2008. Memphis will play at Ole Miss (host of the first debate) on Nov. 21st, after having played its season road opener at Belmont (host of the second debate and the first-ever presidential debate in the state of Tennessee), Nov. 16th. The game at Belmont will be played in the exact same building as the second presidential debate.

Thornton Also Looking to Move Into Career Top 10
Senior Ashley Thornton is also looking to move in to the career top 10. In just her third season in a Tiger uniform, Thornton already has 480 career rebounds. If she can wrangle up 190 more rebounds this season, she would move to 10th all-time. The 10th-place spot on the list now is 670 rebounds for four-year player Diane Gray (1988-1992).

Jackson Posts Single Season Top 10 Performance in Just Half a Season
Senior center Jessica Jackson capped her first half of a season in a Memphis uniform with 32 blocked shots, the 10th-best single season performance in school history. What made that feat even more impressive is the Memphis native had to sit out the first semester games due to NCAA transfer rules and was only able to play in 23 games.

Goldsmith and Lonlack Make First Career Starts
Junior college transfer Tehani Goldsmith and freshman Ramses Lonlack made their first career starts in the win over Northern Arizona. Goldsmith was a junior college All-American at Yavapai College in Arizona, while Lonlack came to Memphis from her native Cameroon via stop at prep school in Massachusetts. Goldsmith finished with 10 points and four assists in 24 minutes, while Lonlack had four points with six assists and a steal in 26 minutes of play. Freshman Laquawanda Sippio also saw her first-ever action in a Tiger uniform, finishing with one point and one rebound in eight minutes of play.

Total Team Effort
In the win over Northern Arizona, all 10 Memphis players scored and all 10 tracked down at least one rebound. The last time every Memphis player scored in a game was Feb. 24th of 2007 against Rice and the last time every Memphis player had a rebound was Mar. 2, 2006 against Marshall.

 

 

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