Nov. 29, 2012
Tigers vs. East Tennessee State
This is the 11th meeting between Memphis and East Tennessee State, a series the Tigers lead 8-2. The two teams have not played since 2000, when Memphis won 90-48 in a game in Memphis. The Tigers have not visited Johnson City since the 1982 season. ETSU won that last meeting in Johnson City, 73-72. Memphis is 1-2 in games played in Johnson City against ETSU.
Bringing Dickson Home
The East Tennessee series was restarted in order to give Memphis senior forward Nicole Dicksonan opportunity to play a game close to home. A 2009 graduate of Greeneville High School, Dickson averaged 21.3 ppg as a senior playing under coach Stacia Crumbley. She finished her prep career at Greeneville with 2,415 points and 1,146 rebounds and was the Greeneville Sun's Female Player of the Year her senior season.
After coming to Memphis, she was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team in 2009-10, finishing second on the team in scoring with 9.2 ppg. That season marked Memphis' first post-season appearance since 2003-04, when the Tigers advanced all the way to the championship game of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI).
She followed that up with a sophomore campaign where she averaged 9.9 points and finished as the team's third-leading scorer as Memphis advanced to the WNIT and finished with a 21-13 overall mark.
Last year, Dickson earned C-USA Second Team All-Conference honors after finishing as Memphis' second-leading scorer and rebounder. She averaged 13.5 ppg and 8.3 rebounds per game, at one point setting a school-record with seven consecutive games with a double-double. She became just the 22nd player in Memphis history to surpass the 1,000 point mark in a road win at Rice to end the regular season as a junior and heads into Friday night's game 19th on the Memphis career scoring list (1,158), 8th in three-point field goals made (126), and tied for 17th in career rebounds (597). She was a pre-season All-C-USA pick in a vote of the league's coaches prior to this season beginning and is Memphis' one returning starter from last season with the injury to starting point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir.
With the Loss to Prairie View A&M
- Memphis suffers its first home loss of the season in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Last year, Memphis lost just one game in the friendly confines of the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
- A number of Tiger newcomers set career highs. Pa'Sonna Hope finished with a career-high 11 points, while freshman Asianna Fuqua-Bey posted career highs in rebounds (9), blocks (2) and steals (4).
- Memphis falls to 0-2 against teams from last year's NCAA post-season tournament field. The Tigers also lost at Middle Tennessee in the second round of the Preseason WNIT. Memphis has one more non-conference game remaining against an NCAA tournament team and that will also be played in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse when Memphis hosts UALR, Friday, Dec. 7th.
- Memphis used its third different starting lineup in five games. The first three games, Memphis had an established line-up, but freshman Mooriah Rowser went down with an injury in the win at Illinois State and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir went down in the win at UT Arlington. Jamila Ajanaku and Jaymie Jacksonmade their first career starts at Memphis in the Prairie View A&M game.
Dickson Drawing Defense
After back-to-back 30 point outings, Nicole Dickson drew a lot of attention on the Tigers' offensive end of the floor against Prairie View A&M, getting face-guarded and drawing double and triple teams any time she touched the ball in the paint. The Tigers will need to establish another scorer to help Dickson out as the season goes on. Rowser and Abdul-Qaadir gave Dickson help in the backcourt, preventing teams from collapsing on her with their mid-range games. The Tigers may spend the rest of the non-conference schedule trying to restructure the offense to include sophomore center Ann Jones, who had career-high 22 points in the win at UT Arlington.
Focus on Stronger Start
To say the starting line-up got off to a rough start in the first half of the Prairie View A&M game might be an understatement. The five starters (Ajanaku, Hearn, Jackson, Jones and Dickson) were a combined 1-for-19 in the entire first half of the game. Dickson will held to just one first half point on 0-for-6 shooting, while Ann Jones was 1-for-7. The starters also accounted for five of the team's nine first-half turnovers. Pa'Sonna Hopegave Memphis a spark off the bench, scoring 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting and being the only Tiger to have more than two first half rebounds, but after playing 14 minutes in the first half, she played just three minutes in the second half.
Tigers' Stats Offensive
Two Tigers are leading Conference USA in offensive stat categories early in the 2012-13 season. Senior forward Nicole Dickson leads the league in scoring (22.0 ppg) and three-point field goals made (2.8), while freshman Ariel Hearn leads the league with 5.0 assists a night. Dickson also ranks 7th in rebounding (7.4) and field goal percentage (49.4), 4th in three-point shooting (42.4 percent) and is tied for fifth in blocks (1.2). Hearn also ranks 14th in the league in scoring (12.1 ppg) and 10th in free-throw percentage (77.8).
As a team, Memphis ranks first in Conference USA with 76.6 ppg and ranks 26th in the NCAA in scoring offense. But that number came with Mooriah Rowser and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadirin the line-up for the first three games of the season. The 58 points the Tigers scored against Prairie View A&M was the lowest offensive output of the season for Memphis, as was the 30.2 percent shooting clip from the field.
Grambling State (0-5): Lost at Wichita State, 62-44; plays at Kansas, Friday.
Middle Tennessee (4-1, 1-0 Sun Belt): Won conference opener, 72-45, at Louisiana; plays at Tennessee, Wednesday.
Illinois State (3-2): Won second straight road game, 83-68, at Western Kentucky, hosts Milwaukee, Saturday.
Texas-Arlington (1-4): Picked up first win of season, 77-71, over Houston Baptist; plays at Nebraska-Omaha, Sunday.
Prairie View A&M (1-4): Upended the Tigers for their first win of the year, 70-58; idle until a Dec. 4th contest at Northwestern State .
East Tennessee State (0-2): Lost at Chattanooga, 81-48; hosts Memphis, Nov. 30th.
UALR (4-1): Used a 19-0 run to go past Rice, 76-48; opens Sun Belt play, Thursday, vs. Troy.
Illinois (3-2): Lost to Iowa State in the championship game of the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas; hosts Wake Forest on Saturday.
Alabama A&M (1-3): Lost at Kansas, 76-59; plays at Memphis on Dec. 14th.
Saint Louis (2-3): Picked up first home win, 55-44, over Western Illinois; hosts Indiana State, Thursday.
Seton Hall (2-4): Lost to South Dakota, 71-55, at the Pepperdine Tournament; hosts Siena College, Wednesday.
Missouri (4-2): Lost to Minnesota, 59-54, at the Cancun Challenge; hosts SEMO, Saturday.
Tennessee Tech (2-3): Downed Alcorn State, 74-57; plays at Vanderbilt, Saturday.
Wright State (2-2): Lost at No. 16/17 Ohio State, 82-52; plays at Dayton, Wednesday.
Houston (3-4): Downed UT San Antonio, 55-42, for their third straight win; hosts New Mexico, Friday.
Southern Miss (2-2): Wins in overtime in championship game of home tournament over McNeese State, 68-59; plays at Florida A&M, Friday.
East Carolina (5-1): Defeated Campbell, 74-54; plays at Navy, Friday.
Tulane (5-0): Remains unbeaten on the season with a 66-48 win over Western Michigan; hosts Auburn, Wednesday.
UAB (7-1): Holds off High Point, 58-53; plays at George Mason, Sunday.
UCF (2-5): Defeated Mississippi State, 64-56; hosts Charlotte, Wednesday.
Rice (2-4): Lost to No. 3 Baylor, 89-49; hosts McNeese State, Saturday.
Marshall (3-2): Downed Southern ,57-47; plays Jackson State at the EKU tournament, Friday.
SMU (5-1): Came back to down Montana State, 71-70, in the championship game of their home tournament; plays at TCU, Wednesday.
UTEP (5-0): Picked up another win over a Pac 12 school, 64-53; plays at New Mexico, Wednesday.
Tulsa (0-5): Edged 75-74 by Loyola Marymount at the Bahamas tournament; hosts Utah Valley State, Thursday.