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Memphis women's basketball off to a strong start under Merriweather

The Memphis Tigers women’s basketball hosted Big East opponent Xavier Nov. 9. The Tigers are coming off a disappointing season last year, winning just two non-conference games and two conference games all season. The Musketeers also are coming off a disappointing season, winning one non-conference game and two conference games all season. Despite those setbacks, the Tigers went into this game looking for a fresh start.

This was the first regular season game under Tigers’ new Head Coach, Katrina Merriweather. With proven success at her previous school, Wright State, she is looking to start a new chapter with the Tigers and is bringing high hopes and expectations into this season.

The Memphis offense showed that those hopes are not so farfetched, shooting 45% from the field in the first half. The Tigers took an early lead and never took their foot off the gas. 

The Tigers shot 38% from three, this was sparked by junior guard Madison Griggs. She had success from beyond the arc last season, shooting 38%. She continued being a deep threat scoring three in this matchup. Jamirah Shutes and Alana Davis added one three pointer each. Shutes led all scorers with 15 points.

Their flashy offense was coupled with a stifling defense too. The Tigers were crashing the boards, outrebounding the Musketeers 47-33. The defense kept the pressure on, with Lanetta Williams and Alana Davis recording three blocks.

Davis also added to the offensive barrage with 13 points of her own. The Tigers were in the driver’s seat all game, outscoring the Musketeers every quarter. The closest the Musketeers got was a four-point deficit in the second quarter. However, this was not enough as the Tigers continued to knock down shots.

Defensively, the Tigers forced 20 turnovers, which is something Merriweather emphasized as important to the team’s success. Although the Tigers had 18 turnovers themselves, they were able to overcome it leave with a victory. 

The Tiger cruised to an 84-64 win. This was a statement win for Merriweather, grabbing her first win as the Tigers head coach, and definitely not her last. 

"I'm so proud of the team," Merriweather said. "We put in a system that they are buying in to. But I'm just excited and grateful to coach this team."

This game has shown that the players love playing for her, as the chemistry is continuing to develop between the new staff and players. If this game proves anything, this will be a fun season to be a Tigers fan.

The Tigers went on to become 2-0 against the SIUE Cougars, winning 89-58. Their next matchup will be Thursday against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans for their first away game of the season.

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