Tigers women’s late comeback not enough to calm red storm
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (WMC) – The Memphis Tiger women’s basketball team opened up the Las Vegas Invitational Friday, facing off with St. John’s University.
While the Tigers staged a late-game comeback, Memphis was unable to hold on as they faced the 61-57 loss.
Following today’s game, Memphis moves to 4-2 for the season.
It was a defensive battle to open the game, looking at a 6-6 tie going into the first media timeout after Shelbee Brown picked up a steal just across half-court for the easy fast-break layup. The Tigers would take their first lead of the game with 3:34 left in the quarter after Emani Jefferson sank a free throw out of a timeout.
Jefferson’s free throw would start a 2:34 scoring drought for the Red Storm as Memphis forced them into three turnovers during the drought and seven in the entire quarter.
Memphis would take a 12-11 lead heading into the second quarter after St. John’s Mimi Reid sank two free throws with less than 30 seconds left in the opening frame.
The Red Storm offense would continue to push in the second quarter, going on a 6-0 run to start play and put the Tigers down 17-12. Buckets from Destyne Jackson and Hannah Riddick would keep the team within reaching distance of St. John’s.
While Memphis attempted to claim their way back in front, Unique Drake would score eight points in the quarter to keep St. John’s on top. Jamirah Shutes would sink a free throw with 39 seconds left in the half to put the Tigers down 31-24 going into the locker room.
The Tiger offense got some gas in them to open the second half; after Jefferson made one of her team-high eight free throws, Madison Griggs would drain a transition three-pointer to make it a 33-30 game with just under eight minutes left in the third quarter.
Memphis and St. John’s would trade buckets for the next 10 minutes, Memphis would make their comeback late in the fourth quarter.
Jefferson would go for five straight points in a 60-second span to give Memphis their first lead since the end of the first quarter. The Tigers and Red Storm would go back and forth with baskets and the lead with Shutes draining a pull-up jumper putting Memphis on top 55-54 with 2:46 left in the game.
While St. John’s would gain a three-point lead following two made free throws from Mimi Reid, Jackson would answer right back with back-to-back makes from the charity stripe with 1:22 on the clock. The Tigers would be held scoreless the rest of the way and faced the 61-57 loss.
Emani Jefferson led the team with 14 points and six rebounds while Jamirah Shutes added in 11 after going 5-6 from the free throw line. Along with Jefferson, Shelbee Brown grabbed six rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end.
As a team, Memphis shot 36% from the field and forced the Red Storm into 21 turnovers.
The Tigers will be back in action tomorrow when they take on #6/#5 Indiana. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. CT with coverage available on FloHoops (subscription required).
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