Memphis Tigers vs. UAB Blazers Recap
The Memphis Tigers’ women’s basketball team (5-4, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) played in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse for the first time in 21 days after playing four straight games on the road.
To celebrate their homecoming, they defeated the UAB Blazers (5-3,0-0 Conference USA) 77-52. This is their first time being above .500 since early November when they started the season with a 2-1 record.
Tigers’ head coach, Melissa McFerrin, spoke with the media about how much she feels her team has changed in the last three weeks.
“Well we were disappointed the first couple of time sat home,” McFerrin said. “I think that we were still trying to find ourselves, but I think we’re a much different team now than we were three weeks ago. We trust each other and our depth is really starting to show.”
The Tigers got off to a hot start against the Blazers and held a 24-10 lead with 7:27 left in the second quarter.
A big reason for this was Alana Davis who was explosive in the first half. Despite not starting, she led all players with nine points through the first half., and she ended the game with 15 points and six rebounds.
She wasn’t the only post player making big strides either.
Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu was an absolute menace on the glass and was key in getting her team rebounds. She led the team with 13 boards, well over her average of 6.6 per game. Mendjiadeu also added 15 points, which gave her third double-double of the season.
When asked by the media about her comfort level with the team, Mendjiadeu said everyone is starting to get on the same page.
“I feel like we’re improving every game and have gotten more comfortable with each other,” Medjiadeu said. “I’ve felt comfortable with he team since the beginning, and I feel that we’re going to be pretty great.”
Their defense didn’t just shine in the first half, it continued to be effective all game. They held UAB to a shooting percentage of just 29.5 percent from the field. A large decline from their average of 46.3 percent a game, and they shot just 25.9 percent in the first half.
McFerrin talked about her team’s defensive performance today and said that she can tell that her players are progressing well throughout the season.
“Our kids are really locking into game plan,” McFerrin said. “They are proving that when they lock in, we’re capable of executing like that. UAB’s a really good team. I don’t think they really showed it today, but I’m gonna give our kids credit for that.”
In the second half, the Blazers were able to find their shot a bit more, especially from the three-point line.
In the first half, they shot just 15.4 percent from three, but in the final half, they raised that number to 21 percent.
Guard Rachel Childress led the way for the Blazers with four three-point shots.
However, they weren’t the only team on the court who was getting three pointers to drop. Memphis got four of their 14 three-point attempts to fall, good enough for 28.6 percent.
For the Tigers to come back home and play so well in front of their home crowd speaks volumes as to what this team can be.
Though consistent shooting is still an issue, the Tigers’ have players on the roster who have range, which allows them to take more shots outside of the paint.
This 25-point victory was their largest margin of victory for the season, and it should be a great confidence booster for the team as they have a week to prepare for their next game against Arkansas State.
Despite it being a great win, McFerrin admitted that she would have liked her team to have a bit more ferocity towards the end of game.
“I still want us to have more of a killer attitude,” McFerrin said. “I want us to be challenged to step on people’s necks a little bit and I felt in the second half we coasted a little bit. But right now, we’re going to enjoy this win.”