Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir returned to the Memphis lineup on Saturday. She came off the bench and could provide some help off the bench as the Tigers' host Tennessee Tech at noon Monday on short rest following Saturday's win.
It hasn't been that many hours since the University of Memphis women's basketball team (7-5) defeated Missouri in a non-conference contest at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, but that game is well behind the Tigers now, as Memphis hosts Tennessee Tech (7-6), Monday, at noon, in a non-conference regional clash. Tennessee Tech comes into the game on a two-game winning streak and with two wins in hand already this season over Conference USA members.
The Last Meeting
December 30, 2008
Goldsmith Nails Game-Winning Free Throws in Road Win at Tennessee Tech
Tehani Goldsmith nailed a pair of free-throws with 2.9 seconds on the clock to lock up a 63-61 victory to close out the University of Memphis women's basketball team's non-conference schedule with a win Tuesday night. The 7-6 record through non-conference play means that the Tigers are coming in to Conference USA play with a winning record for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
Tigers vs. Tennessee Tech This is the 22nd meeting between Memphis and Tennessee Tech, and it's the visiting team that holds the series advantage 15-6. This will be the first meeting between the two teams under their current coaches.
Memphis won the last meeting in Cookeville, 63-61, in Melissa McFerrin's first season, when Alex Winchell hit a three with 55 seconds left in the game to tie it up for the first time in the second half. Memphis had trailed throughout most of second half, but after Winchell's three, Savannah Ellis then outlet a defensive rebound ahead to Tehani Goldsmith, who drove and was fouled, hitting both free-throws with 2.9 seconds left on the clock for the win, the Tigers' first win in Cookeville since 2003 and just their second win there in six tries. That win also secured a 7-6 record for the Tigers at the end of their non-conference schedule, the first time Memphis had finished non-conference play at .500 since 2004-05.
Now, the shoe is on the other foot, as Tennessee Tech has a new head coach who is looking for a marquee win in the series history. Jim Davis took over the Tennessee Tech program this season and is a name long-time women's basketball fans will recognize. He spent 18 years as the head coach at Clemson University, where he took his team to the Sweet 16 four times. He also coached in the WNBA with the Minnesota Lynx as an assistant coach during the 2009.
Memphis vs. Tennessee Tech -- The Series
About Tennessee Tech The Golden Eagles have strong guard play and don't turn the ball over very often. In fact, TTU ranks in the top 10 in the country in fewest turnovers with just 12 turnovers a night. That could slow the Tigers down and prevent them from getting out in transition. Sophomore Diamond Henderson leads the team with 15.0 ppg, and is a 77.1 percent free-throw shooter. She has benefitted from teammate Jala Harris, who joined the TTU program last December. Harris is a name Tiger fans may recognize, as she was the C-USA Freshman of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year in 2010 while playing at UAB. She transferred out of UAB and surfaced last December at Tennessee Tech, playing for then-coach Sytia Messer, a former Memphis assistant coach. After becoming eligible last December, she started in 20 games, finishing second on the team in scoring with 15.2 ppg. She was named the to the Ohio Valley second team all-conference and to the all-newcomer team. In two games against Memphis as a member of the Blazers, she came off the bench for 20 points on 6-for-18 shooting in a Memphis win in Memphis and then went for 16 points on 4-for-13 shooting in 26 minutes in a Tigers' loss in Birmingham.
December 31st -- Historically Memphis is 3-2 in games played on the last day of the calendar year, including an 83-64 win over Jackson State two seasons ago.
Memphis 83, Jackson State 64
at UAB 78, Memphis 51 *
No. 4 Tennessee 84, at Memphis 63
Memphis 96, at Southesat Louisiana 73
Memphis 76, at UT Chattanooga 68
Short Rest May Stress Importance of Bench Both teams will be heading into the Monday noon contest on short rest. Both played 2 p.m. games on Saturday. Memphis had to play some of its starters over 30 minutes in the eventual 72-69 win over Missouri, while not a single Tennessee Tech starter played over 28 minutes in a 73-51 road win at Jacksonville State. TTU got 25 points off its bench in the win, including 17 from Katherine Barker and 11 from Kylie Cook. Memphis got 19 points off its bench, including eight from Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, but it was Nicole Dickson's 28 points and Ariel Hearn's 17 points that were the primary offensive inputs for the Tigers. Since all 15 players got in the game for TTU on Saturday, the Golden Eagles starters should be fairly well-rested. That many players will also mean the Tigers will have to quickly absorb the scouting report to try to keep all of the Golden Eagles' players' tendencies on tap for the Monday noon game.
With the Win Over Missouri - Nicole Dickson drained four three-point field goals to move to sixth in the Memphis record book in career threes. She passed Tamika Butler's (2002-2006) mark of 138 and now with her 139 career threes, is 13 shy of moving into the top five at Memphis, where Kitty Allen (1993-97) sits with 152 triples. Dickson also passed the 1,300 point mark for her career with her 28 point outing against Missouri.
- Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir returned to the lineup for the Tigers against Missouri after missing eight games with a broken hand suffered in the win at Texas-Arlington back on Nov. 21st. Abdul-Qaadir finished with eight points in the win over Missouri and can now resume her march towards her 500th career point. She enters Monday's game against Tennessee Tech with 431 career points, 69 points shy of the 500 point mark. She is also just 32 assists shy of her 200th career assist.
Tigers on the Block Memphis has some active hands in the paint. The Tigers are tied for second in Conference USA in blocked shots per game with 4.4 a night. Against Missouri, Pa'Sonna Hope had a game-high three blocks, the third time this season she had a trio of stuffs in a game. Devin Mack also had a block against Missouri. Hope leads the Tigers with 18 blocks on the season, while Nicole Dickson has added 13 blocks so far this year. Ariel Hearn, Asianna Fuqua-Bey and Lauren McGraw all have four blocks apiece. As a team, the Tigers have 53 stuffs on the season, 12 more than their opponents.
Trying to Close out December and 2012 on a Winning Note Both Memphis and Tennessee Tech are going to try to close the month and the calendar year with a win. Memphis is 4-2 in the month of December after starting the month on an 0-2 slide that included losses to UALR and Illinois before winning four straight games.
Tennessee Tech is 4-3 in the month of December, with wins over Samford, Western Carolina, Marshall and Jacksonville State. The three Golden Eagles' losses were at Vanderbilt, at St. John's and against St. Mary's at the St. John's tournament, the same tournament Memphis played in last December.
Tennessee Tech is also looking for its third win against a Conference USA program this season.The Golden Eagles defeated Rice, a team that is currently 7-4 and was picked to finish ahead of Memphis in fourth in the pre-season coaches' poll, 78-65, in Cookeville earlier this year. They then went on the road and upended Marshall, 67-60, just nine days ago. This is the only Ohio Valley Conference school the Tigers will face during the regular season.
Tigers Looking for a Fifth Consecutive Non-Conference Slate Over .500 In Melissa McFerrin's previous four seasons at Memphis, the Tigers have never finished .500 or under. At 7-5 on the season and with two non-conference games remaining, the team can finish the non-conference slate this season no worse than .500. But a win Monday would guarantee that the team finishes the non-conference slate over .500 for a fifth straight season under McFerrin, which would be a solid accomplishment on a team with eight newcomers and two injuries to starters so early in the season.
Memphis' Non-Conference Record Under McFerrin
7-5 (2 games left)
Dickson Passes 20 Point Mark Again
Memphis has played 12 games so far this season and in six of those, Nicole Dickson has scored 20 or more points. She scored 30 or more points in three of those six contests. When Dickson hits 20 or more points, Memphis is 5-1. The one loss, unfortunately for the Greeneville, Tenn., native, was the loss at East Tennessee State, where she scored 30 points in front of a sizable crowd with family and friends in the stands.
Grambling State (1-9): Lost to C-USA opponent Tulsa, 75-62; plays at Nebraska, Saturday.
Middle Tennessee (6-5, 1-1 Sun Belt): Suffered first Sun Belt loss, 58-51, to Florida International, snapping MTSU's 37-game home winning streak; hosts North Texas, Thursday.
Illinois State (7-4): Edged past Illinois, 69-68; plays at Butler, Friday.
Texas-Arlington (2-8): Lost at No. 15 Oklahoma State, 90-54; opens WAC play at New Mexico State, Saturday.
Prairie View A&M (3-7): Lost at No. 24 Texas A&M, 74-52; plays at Alcorn State, Wednesday.
East Tennessee State (2-5): Lost 85-44 at North Carolina; opens Atlantic Sun play at USC-Upstate, Wednesday.
UALR (10-1, 3-0 Sun Belt): Won at South Alabama, 49-40; plays at Louisiana-Lafayette, Saturday.
Illinois (7-5): Stunned No. 6 Georgia, 70-59; hosts Purdue in Big 10 opener, Wednesday.
Alabama A&M (1-8): Lost to Old Dominion, 75-46; hosts Austin Peay, Saturday.
Saint Louis (5-7): Lost at Drake, 61-55; hosts Northern Iowa, Saturday.
Seton Hall (4-8): Lost to Memphis, 65-58; hosts Wofford, Sunday.
Missouri (11-3): Had seven game winning streak snapped at Memphis, 72-69; plays at Georgia, Thursday.
Tennessee Tech (7-6, 1-0 Ohio Valley): Won Ohio Valley opener, 73-51, at Jacksonville State; plays at Memphis, Monday.
Wright State (5-6): Lost to St. Francis (PA), 98-81; hosts Morehead State, Sunday.
Houston (5-6): Improved to 5-6 on the season with a 74-61 win over Texas State; plays at Texas Tech, Sunday.
Southern Miss (6-5): Downed Central Arkansas, 53-44; hosts William Carey, Monday.
East Carolina (9-3): Defeated Elon, 71-64; plays at George Mason, Wednesday.
Tulane (9-2): Defeated Eastern Michigan, 71-65; plays McNeese State in the championship game of their home tournament, Sunday.
UAB (8-3): Defeated UT Martin, 56-51; hosts UNC Greensboro, Sunday.
UCF (5-8): Upended Florida Gulf Coast, 60-53; plays at Bowling Green, Friday.
Rice (6-4): Stretched winning streak to five games with a 75-54 win over UT-Pan American; hosts Lamar, Sunday.
Marshall (6-6): Lost to Tennessee Tech, 67-60; plays at Navy, Sunday.
SMU (8-4): Lost at San Diego State, 88-72; faces either Harvard or No. 14 Oklahoma State, Sunday.
UTEP (11-1): Downed Sam Houston State, 85-66; wraps up non-conference play Sunday against UT Pan American.
Tulsa (4-7): Won on the road at Grambling State, 75-62; hosts Stephen F. Austin, Sunday.