Memphis Tigers vs. Eastern Kentucky Colonels Takeaways
The Memphis Tigers suffered their first loss of the season against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels 63-60. This is their first time in the last three seasons that the Tigers did not start the season 2-0.
Memphis could not withstand the Colonel’s late game rally where they outscored the Tigers 30-22 in the fourth quarter.
Tigers need more consistent scoring
As was the story last season, the Tigers’ have continued to struggle to get their shots to fall.
For the game, they shot 20 of 66 from the field, good for just 30.3 percent.
Guard Jamirah Shutes led the team with 20 points and shot 6 of 23 from the field. 10 of her points came in the fourth quarter.
Of her team’s shooting struggles, head coach Melissa McFerrin said that there has to be more production from the rest of the team.
“I didn’t think we got the ball in the right spots,” McFerrin said. “I know that we need a little bit more production from a lot more people. We rode the backs of Jamirah Shutes and Madison Griggs tonight.”
This lack of scoring was most evident in the fourth quarter where they shot 26.1 percent from the field while Eastern Kentucky shot 69.2 percent.
Turnovers costing the Tigers easy points
It was clear during Memphis’ first two games that they have been their own worst enemy more times than not.
As they still work to develop chemistry with their new players, they have struggled to make the most of their offensive possessions. They committed 46 turnovers so far this season, and 16 of those came from Saturday’s game.
Those turnovers helped allow the Colonels to score. They scored 14 of their points off of the Tigers’ turnovers.
McFerrin talked about her team’s persistent turnovers and said that she saw improvement from this game compared to last week.
“I feel that 16 is still a bit too much,” McFerrin said. “I thought the silly turnovers were the ones that hurt. I would be content with 12, but 14 is a number that we should shoot for.”
Madison Griggs’ three-point shot makes things interesting
Recruited out of Houston High School, Griggs was a well-known sharpshooter among the 2019 recruiting class, so when she decided to keep her talents at home, it was a major find for the Tigers.
They had their share of struggles shooting three pointers, which made it a top priority when determining the players that McFerrin wanted to bring onto the team.
After scoring no points in threes in the season opener, Griggs shot 3 of 7 from three, which led the team in that category.
Griggs talked to the media following the game and said that the loss tainted her impressive game.
“It feels good to contribute,” Griggs said. “But at the same time, it doesn’t mean a lot because we didn’t get the win.”
McFerrin told the media that despite the loss, she sees a lot of potential in Griggs’ game.
“If people are going to play zone, Madison [Griggs] is going to play.” McFerrin said.
Griggs played 27 minutes and in addition to her 11 points, she also had three assists, two rebounds and a steal.
Memphis was able to battle all game until their offensive deficiencies started to catch up with them when the Colonels went on a 14-1 run in the fourth quarter.
The loss showed just how important it is for the Tigers’ to develop their offensive game so they will not get caught up in more situations like this.
For their next game, they will be on the road for the first time this season when they travel to Ruston, Louisiana, to take on the Louisiana Tech Lady Bulldogs.
The tip-off is set for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.