Lady Tiger Basketball Looking to Capture 11th Straight Thanksgiving Tourney Title
Nov. 27, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- - The Lady Tiger basketball team will work off some Thanksgiving turkey when it hosts its own Thanksgiving tournament Friday and Saturday. Joining Memphis for the festivities will be Michigan State (1-2), Tennessee State (0-1) and Mercer University (0-1), which is coached by former Lady Tiger assistant coach Brenda Welch-Nichols and former Lady Tiger manager Toby Bush.
Memphis will open the tournament against Nashville-based Tennessee State University at 6 p.m., Friday. The TSU Tigers dropped their regular season opener against in-town foe Belmont, 84-65, Saturday. Four TSU Tigers scored double-digits in the loss, led by 14 points from senior forward Tristin Johnson and junior forward Odessa Kelly.
The second game of the tournament will feature Michigan State against Mercer, beginning at 8 p.m. Michigan State is off to a 1-2 start while Mercer dropped Welch-Nichols head coaching debut, 70-58, to Nashville-based Lipscomb University, Monday. Bears' senior April Dyer led Mercer with 20 points in the loss as Mercer was unable to overcome a 33-turnover performance in both teams' season opener.
Michigan State is coming into the tournament off a 58-55 loss to Toledo in East Lansing, Tuesday. Kristin Haynie and Jennifer Callier each scored double-digits for Michigan State, led by 13 from Haynie and 12 from Callier. Haynie was one rebound shy of a double-double, while teammate Kelli Roehrig led the team with three blocked shots.
The Lady Tigers enter their own tournament with a 2-0 record, including a 63-50 win over Louisiana-Lafayette, Monday, that snapped a seven-game losing skid that dated back to last season.
Senior center Shannon Hamp had another solid outing against the Rajin' Cajuns, leading all players with 22 points after ringing up 27 points against ULL last season. Her 21st point of the night gave Hamp her 1,000th career point, making her the 15th Lady Tiger in school history to hit the 1,000-point plateau.
Freshman point guard Tamika Butler made the most out of her first collegiate start, chipping in 11 points and committing just one turnover in 30 minutes of play while running the point for injured starter Kalara McFayden. McFayden broke her hand against Austin Peay State Friday night and will be out at least three weeks.
The Lady Tigers have won 10 straight Thanksgiving Tournaments, including a 63-55 win over Kentucky in the championship game of last year's tournament. Hamp was named tournament MVP last year while Princess Swilley also garnered all-tournament team honors with the win.
The consolation game will be played at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, with the championship game following at 5 p.m. All fans who bring two cans of food will receive 2-for-1 admission to the tournament games for the entire weekend as part of The U of M Food Drive.