December 18, 2008

Memphis has waited a year to get another shot at Tech

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech fans will have one final opportunity to watch their team play before the ball drops on Times Square on New Year's Eve. The Golden Eagles will host the University of Memphis Lady Tigers Tuesday at 7 pm. in Eblen Center.

Tech posted a 74-58 win at Memphis to open last season, and the Lady Tigers haven't forgotten.

Memphis is led by a new head coach in Melissa McFerrin, and with a 6-6 record to get the year underway, the Lady Tigers are already over halfway to last year's 10 victories, but also haven played in 10 days, since defeating Winthrop on Dec. 20. Memphis jumped to a 5-2 start before losing three straight to Arkansas, South Alabama and Mississippi State.

Memphis has been out of action for 10 days.

McFerrin was named head coach is April, becoming the fourth coach in the program's history. The 2008 Patriot League Coach of the Year, she spent the past four seasons at American University in Washington D.C.

This years Memphis squad has two players scoring in double figures, led by 5-8 guard Paris Leonard with 17.6 points per game. She also has a team-high 33 steals.

Ashley Thornton, a 6-foot senior forward, is adding 10.2 points per game and leads Memphis in rebounds with 8.8 per contest.

Right behind in the scoring column is 5-8 freshman guard Ramses Lonlack with 9.4 points per game. She third on the team in rebounds with 5.6 per game, and second in steals with 25. Savannah Ellis, a 6-1 sophomore center, is second on the team in rebounds with 7.5 per tilt.

In last year's opener, the Golden Eagles forced 27 turnovers and got double-figure scoring from three players on the way to the 16-point, 74-58 victory.

Meagan Lyons led the way with 23 points and five steals, while Kristina Tyler chalked up a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Holly Rogers added 13 points and seven assists in her first game as a Golden Eagle.

Tech leads the all-time series against Memphis, 15-5.

The ticket office in Eblen Center opens Tuesday at 6 p.m., with tipoff at 7 p.m.