July 18, 2024

Memphis Women’s Basketball Stumbles Late in Loss to East Carolina

Memphis Women’s Basketball Stumbles Late in Loss to East Carolina

The  Memphis Women’s Basketball team returned to the hardwoods of the Bluff City for a 2024 clash against the Pirates of East Carolina, only to fall short in a nail-biting 64-63 defeat. The Tigers, keen on securing their first conference win, slipped to a 4-10 overall record and a 0-3 start in American Athletic Conference (AAC) play.

The Tigers hit the ground running, with Ki’Ari Cain lighting up the scoreboard with consecutive three-pointers, setting the tone for the early minutes. Memphis’ defensive pressure compounded East Carolina’s troubles, forcing six turnovers within the first five minutes. The result was a 12-5 advantage, prompting a timeout from the Pirates with more than half of the first quarter gone.

Despite Memphis’ fiery start, East Carolina clawed back, reducing the gap to a single point before two vital baskets from Hannah Riddick pushed the Tigers ahead 18-15 as the first-quarter buzzer sounded.

The second quarter saw Memphis’ lead erode under a barrage of turnovers and a calculated 9-4 run by the Pirates. East Carolina’s momentum culminated in a 10-1 run, flipping the script and granting them a 38-29 lead at the intermission.

Emerging from halftime, Riddick’s offensive spree narrowed the Tigers’ deficit. However, the third quarter was a tug-of-war, with Memphis eventually evening the score at 44-44 after Madison Griggs‘ downtown three. East Carolina managed to nudge ahead 49-46 as the final quarter loomed.

In the fourth, Memphis appeared to take control. Riddick dominated the paint, and Griggs’ sharpshooting from beyond the arc handed the Tigers an eight-point lead with under four minutes to play. Yet, the Pirates responded fiercely, embarking on an 8-0 run that leveled the game at 61-61. Riddick’s career-high scoring effort briefly reclaimed the lead for Memphis, but Danae McNeal‘s composed free throw and jumper sealed a hard-fought victory for East Carolina.

Riddick’s standout 22-point performance couldn’t avert the loss, as she led all scorers and demonstrated remarkable efficiency by going 11-16 from the field. Aliyah Green also had an impressive outing, setting career-highs with 10 points and 31 minutes while pulling down a game-high eight rebounds and snagging five steals.

Griggs offered valuable support with 15 points, bolstered by her proficiency from the three-point line. Despite forcing 28 turnovers and shooting a solid 44% from the field, the Tigers’ late-game errors ultimately cost them the win.

Memphis looks to rebound from this heartbreaker as they host SMU at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on Thursday, Jan. 11. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off, with fans able to follow the action on ESPN+. The Tigers will be eager to notch their first AAC victory and build momentum as the season progresses.

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