As University of Memphis guard Madison Griggs knocked down her fourth three-pointer of the game with 4:53 left in the third quarter, the crowd went berserk.
There was good reason to celebrate the deep-range shot. By swishing that bucket, Griggs broke the record for most three-pointers converted by a freshman in American Athletic Conference (AAC) history.
The sequence began as Griggs splashed her third make of the game with 5:26 left in the third quarter. Griggs then set the record by converting a three-pointer less than one minute later.
Despite Griggs’ heroics, it was not enough for the Tigers to stave off the Lady Knights of the University of Central Florida.
On a day when Tigers guard Gazmyne Herndon celebrated Senior Day, it was the Knights that emerged victorious, winning 67-59 and improving their record to 18-9 overall, and 9-5 in conference play. The Tigers dropped to 13-15, 4-11 in AAC play.
Led by guard Kay Kay Wright, who finished with 19 points, UCF led by one point at intermission, 29-28. UCF consistently led throughout the second half, but Memphis did not allow the Knights to escape Elma Roane Fieldhouse without a fight.
Tigers’ forward Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu (Men-gee-ah-do) finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, providing the team with an inside presence to combat UCF’s outside shooting.
Both teams shot 41 percent from the field, with UCF making plays down the stretch to secure the victory.
“I have been really tough on Dulcy lately because while she had a double-double, I feel she can be so much better than what she is,” Tigers head coach Melissa McFerrin said.
“It’s come to the point that if she doesn’t get a double-double, it’s not a good game for her.”
Point guard and team leader Herndon said she wants the team to “keep being mentally tough.”
“It’s hard having only seven healthy players,” she said, “but we have fought through it and I am really proud of that.”
Herndon finished with six points, four rebounds and three assists. Later, she recalled her journey from Douglass High School to Odessa Junior College in Odessa, Texas to the UofM in 2019.
“The speed of the game in college was totally different from the speed in high school,” Herndon said. “I really learned a lot here, and now we hope to pull out a win on Monday against SMU.”
NOTE: The Tigers play their season finale Monday night on the road in Dallas, where they will face Southern Methodist University at Moody Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.