Women's Basketball Back on the Road

Dec. 18, 2012

Memphis (4-5) at Saint Louis (5-5)
Chaifetz Arena (St. Louis, Mo.)
Wed., December 19, 2012 - 4 pm (CT) 

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Radio: WUMR 91.7 FM
Audio: Memphis Tiger Network

Watch: Billiken TV

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The Last Meeting
Saint Louis60
November 11, 2011
Birthday Girl Abdul-Qaadir Drains Game Winning Three With Five Seconds Left
Sophomore point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir made just one field goal on her 21st birthday, but it was a big one, a three-point field goal that pushed Memphis in front 63-60 with five seconds remaining in a win over Saint Louis Friday.

The University of Memphis women's basketball team (4-5) will take to the road for a pair of non-conference games, starting Wednesday at Saint Louis University (5-5). The match-up between Memphis and Saint Louis will be the front end of a doubleheader with the Billiken men's team, and will be played at 4 p.m.

Tigers vs. Saint Louis
This is the 29th meeting between Memphis and Saint Louis. The Tigers lead the overall series 24-4 and are carrying a three-game winning streak into the Wednesday afternoon meeting in St. Louis. Memphis won the last meeting in St. Louis, 69-50, then needed a three-point field goal with five seconds left in the game to win the season-opening meeting at home last season, 63-60. Memphis trailed by as many as 11 in that game and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir hit her only shot of the game from beyond the arc to help the Tigers claim the win on her birthday. She will miss the rematch with the Billikens this year due to a hand injury that she suffered in the UT Arlington game. This is the fourth straight season the Tigers have played Saint Louis. The two teams have a long history, dating back to Saint Louis’ membership in Conference USA. At one point, the two were travel partners. Memphis is 10-2 all-time in games played in St. Louis.

About Saint Louis
The Billikens are in their first season under head coach Lisa Stone. Like Melissa McFerrin, Stone has some deep Big 10 roots. She played at Iowa under legendary coach C. Vivian Stringer and most recently was the head coach at the University of Wisconsin, where she led the Badgers to a 128-119 record in eight seasons. At Saint Louis, Stone has a roster that features seven juniors and seniors. Junior Lorreal Jones leads the Billikens in scoring with 11.8 ppg and 7.8 rebounds per game. Redshirt senior guard Courtney Webb adds 11.8 ppg, while senior center Mallory Eggert chips in 10.7 points and 7.1 rebounds a night. Memphis had its hands full with Webb last season, as the DePaul transfer came off the bench for her first game action for Saint Louis and scored 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting. Webb leads Saint Louis with 18 three-point field goals made. The Billikens have played stiff pre-season schedule, playing at Missouri, UMKC (a WNIT team last year) and Oklahoma. Of the Billiken’s 10 games so far this year, just three of them have been in the friendly confines of Chaifetz Arena, where the Billikens are 2-1 so far this season.

December 19th -- Historically
Maybe its because its right after exams are done, but the Tigers have a long history historically on December 19th. Memphis is 7-10 on games played on December 19th.

12/19/10 Memphis 76, North Carolina A&T 51
12/19/05 at Oklahoma State 91, Memphis 42
12/19/04 Oral Roberts 87, Memphis 79 (at Cancun Tourney)
12/19/02 at Middle Tennessee 89, Memphis 83
12/19/01 Memphis 62, at Texas A&M 59
12/19/99 Memphis 88, Arkansas 82
12/19/98 Memphis 81, at Austin Peay State 73
12/19/97 at No. 24 Arkansas, 93, Memphis 84
12/19/93 at Santa Clara 77, Memphis 74
12/19/90 at South Alabama 88, Memphis 65
12/19/88 at No. 25 Washington 78, Memphis 48
12/18/87 Memphis 85, Mississippi State 77
12/19/86 Memphis 87, Southern Miss 73 * (Metro)
12/19/83  at Jackson State 69, Memphis 67
12/19/81 Memphis 85, Mississippi State 73
12/19/80 McNeese State 77, Memphis 59
12/19/79 Louisville 75, Memphis 72 (at Tallahassee)

Dickson Moves up in Career Triples

Senior forward Nicole Dickson hit one of two shots from three-point range in the win over Alabama A&M, and that was enough to move her into a tie for seventh in the Tigers’ record book with 131 career triples. That moved her into a tie with Kelly Herron (1995-2001) for seventh all-time in the Tigers records. Dickson now has her sights set on Tamika Butler’s (2002-06) mark of 137 to improve to sixth all-time.

Hearn Passes 100 Point Plateau
It took freshman guard Ariel Hearn just nine games in her college career to pass the 100 point mark. With her fourth point (out of 19) in the win over Alabama A&M, she passed the century mark. Since taking over at point guard for the injured Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, Hearn is averaging 14.4 ppg and is shooting 40.4 percent from the floor.

Freshmen in the Boxscores
In each of the past two games, the leading scorers for the Tigers have been members of the freshman class. Against Illinois, it was Ariel Hearn with 18 points and Asianna Fuqua-Bey, who finished with 10, career highs for both players. Hearn reset that career high in the next game against Alabama A&M, finishing with 19 points. But this time, it was guard Jaymie Jackson who helped lead the scoring, finishing with a career-best 14 points. Senior Nicole Dickson has been a mainstay with those freshmen, scoring double digits in all nine Tiger games this season. Dickson now has scored double-digit points in 10 straight games dating back to last season. Her last single digit outing was a nine-point effort in the win over Chattanooga in the first round of the WNIT last season. Dickson may be looking to bounce back against Saint Louis in the scoring column though. In last year’s meeting, she finished with just one point and was held scoreless from the field on 0-for-6 shooting.

Tigers are Young in Age and Experience in McFerrin’s System
With five freshmen and eight newcomers on the roster, the Tigers’ coaching staff had its hands full to start the season. But with the loss of starting point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, the starting lineup got even younger. Memphis was already starting two freshmen (Ariel Hearn and Mooriah Rowser), when Rowser got hurt against Illinois State. She was replaced in the starting line-up by sophomore Lauren McGraw in the next game at UT Arlington, but then Abdul-Qaadir got hurt, and Melissa McFerrin had to look to freshman Jaymie Jackson to fill that gap. The Tigers’ starting line-up on Friday night against UALR, a three-time NCAA team and a two-time defending champion in the Sun Belt Conference featured just one player who had played more than one season in McFerrin’s system at Memphis -- Nicole Dickson. Junior Pa’Sonna Hope played at Ole Miss last season and wasn’t cleared to play this season by the NCAA until Memphis Madness. Senior guard Jamila Ajanaku wasn’t cleared by the NCAA to play this season until the day before the UT Arlington game, missing all three of the Preseason WNIT games. Those two transfers started with Dickson and freshmen Hearn and Jackson. Between all five of them, they had a combined 130 games worth of experience in McFerrin’s system -- with 105 of those belonging to Nicole Dickson.

With the Win Over Alabama A&M
- Memphis snapped a four-game losing streak
- Memphis had two freshmen in the starting lineup for the eighth time in nine games. The only game that Memphis did not start two freshmen was the win at UT Arlington. Freshman Ariel Hearn has started all nine games this season, while Jaymie Jackson has five starts and Mooriah Rowser had three starts before her season-ending knee injury.
- Jaymie Jackson and Ariel Hearn both set career scoring bests. Hearn broke her mark of 18 from the previous game, finishing with 19, while Jackson finished with 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
- Junior guard Devin Mack made her first career start at Memphis in the Alabama A&M win. She finished with four points in 22 minutes, but her defense helped the Tigers hold AAMU’s leading scorers to single digit nights from the floor. AAMU scored just 14 points in the first half of Friday night’s game.
- After shooting over 50 percent from the field in three of the first four games for Memphis this season, Nicole Dickson has drawn a lot of defensive attention lately. She is a combined 15-for-51 (29.4 percent) from the field over the last three games and is 3-for-18 from three-point range (16.7 percent). So far this season, she is averaging over five shots a game more than last year. She’s taking 18.5 shots per game this season, compared to 13.2 per game last year. She has scored double-digit points in all nine games so far this season, but she’s been held to just 12.0 ppg in the last three outings.
- Improving its transition defense has been a point of emphasis for Memphis. Sophomore guard Lauren McGraw has proved that she can get back on defense. She finished with a career-best two blocks on guards out in transition in the win over Alabama A&M.

Hope Joins the Double-Double Club
Junior center Pa’Sonna Hope became the second Tiger to post a double-double this season, finishing with a career-best 13 points and 12 rebounds in the loss at ETSU (11/30). She joins Dickson in the double-double club. Dickson posted 30 points and 13 rebounds in the win at UT Arlington (11/21).

About the Freshman Starters
When Ariel Hearn and Mooriah Rowser appeared in the starting line-up in the season opener against Grambling State, they were doing something that isn’t done often at Memphis. They became the first two freshmen to start the regular season opener since Malissa Bush and Kelly Herron appeared in the starting line-up in 1997-98. Memphis lost that game with Bush and Herron in the line-up, 68-65, at Southern Illinois, but that team went on to post a record of 22-8 overall and 13-3 in Conference USA play, winning the C-USA championship and appearing in the NCAA Tournament. Bush and Herron did have some more experienced teammates to help them out though. Former WNBA players Tamika Whitmore and LaTonya Johnson were Tigers teammates to the duo.

Opponent Check-Up
Grambling State (1-7): Lost at Florida State, 96-60; plays at LSU, Wednesday.

Middle Tennessee (6-4, 1-0 Sun Belt): Lost at No. 7 Kentucky, 68-46; hosts FIU, Thursday.

Illinois State (6-3): Downed Ball State, 71-56; hosts Princeton, Wednesday. 

Texas-Arlington (1-7):  Lost to UT-Pan American, 59-57; breaks for exams before playing at North Texas, Tuesday.

Prairie View A&M (2-5): Lost at No. 21 Kansas, 72-60; plays Hampton at the Toledo tournament, Thursday.

East Tennessee State (2-2): Picked up a second straight win, 57-53, at Morehead State; plays at LSU, Thursday.

UALR (8-1): Off to best start in school history with a 56-44 win at Memphis; hosts Tulsa, Tuesday.

Illinois (6-4): Defeated Oregon, 80-62; hosts Illinois State, Friday.

Alabama A&M (1-5): Lost at Murray State, 69-54; plays Notre Dame at the World Vision Invitational in Las Vegas, Wednesday.

Saint Louis (5-5): Picked up a road win with a 63-59 victory at Evansville; hosts Memphis, Wednesday.

Seton Hall (3-7): Lost to Mount St. Mary’s 74-64; hosts University of New Orleans, Wednesday.

Missouri (9-2): Won fifth straight game, with a 110-47 win over Southern Illinois; hosts Morgan State, Tuesday.

Tennessee Tech (5-6): Went 0-2 in the St. John’s Tournament, falling to host St. John’s and to St. Mary’s; plays at Marshall, Saturday.

Wright State (5-4): Overcame a 15-point halftime deficit in a 66-65 road win at Xavier; brings a three-game winning streak into its home tournament that starts Wednesday vs. Western Kentucky.

Houston (4-6): Lost to Creighton, 75-54; hosts Texas State, Saturday.

Southern Miss (4-4): Dropped second straight road game, 73-55, at UL Monroe; hosts Loyola (La.) College, Saturday.

East Carolina (8-2): Handed VCU its first home loss, 67-56; plays No. 19 North Carolina at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, Wednesday.

Tulane (7-1): Used overtime to come back and down LSU, 66-64; hosts UL-Lafayette, Wednesday.

UAB (7-2): Lost at George Mason, 58-55; hosts Morehead State, Tuesday.

UCF (3-7): Lost to Presbyterian, 53-49; hosts South Alabama, Wednesday.

Rice (3-4): Defeated McNeese State, 60-51; hosts Chicago State, Thursday.

Marshall (5-5): Lost to Ohio, 55-48; hosts Furman, Thursday.

SMU (7-2): Defeated UL Monroe, 76-56; hosts Wright State, Saturday.

UTEP (9-1): Handed Kansas State their first loss of the season, holding on for a 52-50 win on the road; hosts New Mexico, Thursday.

Tulsa (3-6): Had winning streak snapped with a 70-48 loss to BYU; plays at UALR, Tuesday.



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