Women's Basketball Hosting Rhodes in Exhibition Saturday

Go C-USA! Sophomore guard Lauren McGraw is one of five returnees for Memphis for the 2012-13 season.
Go C-USA!
Sophomore guard Lauren McGraw is one of five returnees for Memphis for the 2012-13 season.
Go C-USA!

Nov. 2, 2012

The University of Memphis women's basketball team will play its lone exhibition game on Saturday against in-town foe Rhodes College at 2 p.m. That game will mark the debut of at least seven Tigers' newcomers, while senior guard Jamila Ajanaku awaits word on an NCAA waiver to play this season. Tickets for the game are available now starting at $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for youth. Group tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more for just $2.00.

Tigers vs. Rhodes College
With the two Memphis-based programs competing at different levels in the NCAA, the history between the two is pretty sparse. Memphis leads the overall series 3-0, but the two teams have not faced one another in a regular season contest that counts since the 1974-75 season.

Pulling on the Blue and Gray
Today's exhibition game will be the first time that eight newcomers will be wearing the Memphis uniform in a contest. Five freshmen will make their debuts today -- Ariel Hearn, Asianna Fuqua-Bey, Jaymie Jackson, Mooriah Rowser and Courtney Powell will all be getting their first taste of college basketball. Three other newcomers have some college experience to fall back on, but will be suiting up for Memphis for the first time in their respective careers. Devin Mack is a junior college transfer from Kishwaukee Junior College in Illinois while Pa'Sonna Hope is a junior transfer from Ole Miss. A third Tiger newcomer is still awaiting word on a waiver from the NCAA to play this season. Senior guard Jamila Ajanaku transferred to Memphis from Middle Tennessee this summer in order to be close to home and to her family. She is still awaiting word from the NCAA as to whether she can play this season or will have to sit out one year per the NCAA transfer rules.

 

 

Dickson Named Pre-Season All-C-USA
Senior forward Nicole Dickson was voted to the Conference USA Preseason All-Conference team by the league coaches. The Greeneville, Tenn., native was a second team, all-conference honoree last year and has already started working her name into the Memphis record books. She currently ranks 20th in school history with 1,064 points through three seasons and eighth in Memphis history with 112 three-point field goals made. She needs 19 more triples to move to seventh in career threes, where former Tiger Kelly Herron (1995-2001) currently sits.

Tigers Picked Fifth in C-USA Preseason Poll
Despite the loss of five seniors from last year's roster, including C-USA Player of the Year Jasmine Lee, C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Ramses Lonlack and three-time All-C-USA honoree Brittany Carter, the C-USA coaching pool has still has lofty expectations of the 2012-13 Memphis roster with eight newcomers, picking the Tigers to finish fifth in the C-USA Preseason Coaches' Poll.

2012-13 C-USA Coaches' Poll
1. Tulane (5)
2. UTEP (5)
3. UAB (1)
4. Rice
5. Memphis (1)
6. Tulsa
7. Southern Miss
8. SMU
9. UCF
10. Houston
11. East Carolina
12. Marshall
(# of first place votes in parantheses)

Most Conference USA Regular Season Wins
Memphis won 13 Conference USA contests last season to finish second in the league standings. The 13 wins tied the 1998 squad for the most conference wins for any Tiger squad, including Memphis' days in the Metro and Great Midwest Conferences.

Speaking of Conference Changes
This season will be the last for the Tigers in Conference USA. Memphis was a charter member of Conference USA, but will begin play in the BIG EAST Conference next season (2013-14). In terms of women's basketball teams, the BIG EAST had five teams ranked in the first women's basketball poll of the season: No. 2 UConn, No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 9 Louisville, No. 14 St. John's and No. 25 DePaul. Other BIG EAST teams receiving votes in the poll were Rutgers and Georgetown. Among Conference USA schools in the pre-season poll, UTEP received votes.

Dickson Clears the Grand Mark
Nicole Dickson passed the 1,000 point mark in the final regular season game at Rice last season to become the 22nd player in Memphis history to pass the grand mark. With Dickson past the 1,000 point mark, Memphis had three 1,000 point scorers on the roster last year (Brittany Carter, Ramses Lonlack & Dickson).

The only other time a Memphis team has sported three 1,000 point scorers on the same roster was the 1995-96 season (LaTonya Johnson, Keeta Matthews, Kitty Allen).

Third Straight 20-Win Season
Memphis has put together three or more consecutive 20-win seasons three times in the program's 40-year history. The Tigers have put together four straight 20-or more win seasons just one time in the previous history (1994-1999).

2011-12: 25-8	1994-95: 22-8	1980-81: 20-11	1976-77: 27-9
2010-11: 20-13	1995-96: 20-11	1981-82: 26-5	1977-78: 29-9
2009-10: 20-14	1996-97: 22-7	1982-83: 20-12	1978-79: 26-7
		1997-98: 22-8
		1998-99: 22-10
 

700 Wins
Memphis became the 38th program in NCAA history to pick up its 700th program victory with the 61-54 win at UCF last season. Memphis is now 705-511 since the women's basketball program returned as a varsity sport prior to the 1972-1973 season.

Next up: Preseason WNIT
The Tigers will open their regular season with a Friday, Nov. 9th contest against Grambling State at 7 p.m. That game will feature two of the top recruiting classes in the country as Memphis' No. 39 ranked class will be facing a class at Grambling State that was ranked No. 44 by ESPN's HoopGurlz.com. Tickets for that game start at $5.00 for general admission seating and $9.00 for chairback seats. The winner of that Memphis/Grambling State contest will face the winner of the Middle Tennessee/Kennesaw State game in the second round. Second round winners will then play again on Wednesday, 14th in the semifinals. The championship game in the preseason WNIT is set for Sunday, Nov. 18th. Second round losing teams will play another game on either Friday, Nov. 16th or Saturday, Nov. 17th. All Preseason WNIT games are played on campus sites.

Changing Leagues in 2013-14
Memphis has been a founding member of Conference USA dating back to 1995-96, but the Tigers will have some new league mates come 2013-2014. Memphis will join the BIG EAST in 2013-14, rejoining the team with former foes DePaul, Marquette, Cincinnati, Louisville and USF.

Opponent Check-Up

Grambling State (15-16): Will have a new head coach at the helm of the program as Patricia Bibbs takes over the program; incoming freshman class was ranked No. 44 in the country by ESPNHoopGurlz.com; opens season at Memphis, Friday.
Texas-Arlington (7-21): Won their exhibition opener, 65-53, against Wayland Baptist. Center Desherra Nwanguma had a double-double with 16 points and 18 rebounds' opens season at George Washingto, Friday.
Prairie View A&M (17-16): A 2012 NCAA tournament team; senior forward Latia Williams was named the SWAC Preseason Player of the Year while Kiara Etienne was named first team all-conference; opens season at Rice, Friday. East Tennessee State (8-22): Picked to finish in a tie for fourth in the Atlantic Sun preseason coaches' poll; junior Destiny Mitchell named to the pre-season All-Atlantic Sun team; play Carson-Newman on Saturday in an exhibition game, followed by a Monday exhibition game against Young Harris.
UALR (20-13): Picked to win the West in the Sun Belt and had three pre-season all-conference honorees; opens season at Tulsa on Nov. 12th.
Illinois (11-19): Won their exhibition opener under new head coach Matt Bollant, 89-37; plays Concordia (Ill.) in last exhibition game before opening regular season against Evansville on Nov. 11th.
Alabama A&M (17-12): Won exhibition game, 64-62, over Montevallo; plays Miles College on Friday, then faces C-USA foe UAB on Nov. 12th.
Saint Louis (11-20): Has a new head coach as former Wisconsin coach Lisa Stone has taken over the Billiken program; opens the regular season at Missouri, Friday.
Seton Hall (8-23): Opens their season on Friday by hosting New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Missouri (13-18): Won exhibition game against Lincoln, 75-50; hosts Lindenwood in an exhibition game on Tuesday before opening the season against Saint Louis, Friday.
Tennessee Tech (17-17): Picked to win the Ohio Valley East Division under new head coach Jim Davis; plays Lee University in an exhibition game on Monday, then opens season agaisnt Tennessee Wesleyan on Saturday, Nov. 10th.
Wright State (21-13): Picked to finish third in the Horizon League and sophomore guard Kim Demmings was named the preseason Player of the Year in the Horizon League; hosts Indianapolis in an exhibition game, Nov. 1st, then hosts Cedarville in a second exhibition on Sunday.
Houston (3-26): Senior guard Porsche Landry received a fifth year of eligibility after an injury last season and will be joined by the No. 40 ranked recruiting class for the upcoming season; Houston was picked to finish 10th in the preseason coaches' poll; opens the season at Mississippi State on Friday, Nov. 9th.
Southern Miss (13-18): Picked to finish seventh in the C-USA Preseason Coaches' Poll; junior point guard Jamierra Faulkner named to the preseason team; East Carolina (12-19): Picked to finish 11th in the C-USA Coaches' Poll; opens season at William & Mary on Friday.
Tulane (23-11): Preseason favorites to win Conference USA; senior guard Olivia Grayson named preseason all-conference; opens season by hosting Louisiana Tech, Friday.
UAB (19-11): Won exhibition opener, 75-29, over Brewton-Parker, with 17 points from senior guard Amber Jones; hosts Alabama-Huntsville in final exhibition game on Monday before opening season against Austin Peay on Friday.
UCF (12-17): Picked to finish ninth in preseason coaches' poll; opens exhibition season Friday against Lynn College, then opens season hosting Georgia State on Nov. 9th.
Rice (16-16): Led by the preseason Player of the Year, junior forward Jessica Kuster, Rice was picked to finish fourth in the league standings; opens season against Prairie View A&M on Friday, Nov. 9th.
Marshall (16-14): New head coach Matt Daniel takes over the Thundering Herd program; hosts Concord in an exhibition game on Thursday, then Kentucky State on Sunday before opening the season against Radford, Nov. 9th.
SMU (14-17): Picked to finish eighth in C-USA preseason poll; junior Akil Simpson named to preseason all-conference team; opens season against Alcorn State, Nov. 10th.
UTEP (29-4): Picked to finish second in preseason coaches poll; junior forward Kayla Thornton named preseason all-conference; hosts St. Mary's (Texas) Saturday in an exhibition game, then opens season against Loyola Marymount, Saturday, Nov. 10th.
Tulsa (13-15): Won exhibition game, 88-50, with 20 points from Taleya Mayberry; plays one more exhibition game against Mid-America Christian on Sunday before opening the season at cross-town foe Oral Roberts, Friday, Nov. 9th.

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