Memphis head coach Katrina Merriweather addresses the Tigers during the postgame huddle following the road win against SMU in Dallas. (Screen capture)

Head coach Katrina Merriweather’s University of Memphis Tigers have dominated at Elma Roane Fieldhouse, winning eight of 11 games. The road has been a different story, where the team was two games under the .500-mark before mounting a winning effort against SMU in Dallas on Wednesday night.

The Tigers – now 5-6 on the road this season – had won only one time on the road against the Mustangs since 2012 before its much-needed 72-54 win ended their cold spell in Dallas this week.

Memphis (14-9, 5-7 American Athletic Conference) will host Wichita State (12-12, 3-8) at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on Saturday (February 19). The Tigers emerged with a one-point (50-49) victory in Wichita, Kansas on January 16th.

Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Losers of their previous three games, the Tigers sprinted to a 25-11 advantage against SMU (11-10, 5-4), a much different start than what turned out to be a 19-point loss to the Mustangs at Memphis’ Elma Roane Fieldhouse on January 8.

“We had to bounce back by any means,” senior guard Jamirah Shutes said. “We already dropped three games in a row, and we had to have this one.”

Jamirah Shutes drives in for a layup against the Mustangs. (Screen capture)

With the team converting nearly 50 percent of its field goals, Memphis snapped out of an offensive slump, making over half of its three-point attempts. Ball movement proved to be essential, as five players scored 8 points or more.

Senior forward Alana Davis’ 18 points set the pace, with Shutes and fellow guard Emani Jefferson chipping in 15 and 13 points respectively. Shutes recorded her 1,000th point as a Tiger, breaking out of a three-game shooting drought.

Davis prioritized diversifying her game throughout the offseason, and the results have paid off on the court. In addition to scoring on 7 of her 11 shot attempts, she made two three-pointers that helped put the game out of reach for SMU.

“Alana is such a great player in that we can run plays for her through the post and from the outside, and that’s something unique that you do not see often,” Merriweather said.

Alana Davis looks approvingly at Jamirah Shutes after Shutes went hard to the basket for a score against SMU. (Screen capture)

Memphis used its size advantage, out-rebounding SMU 38-22. The Tigers’ physicality set the tone early, and the defense maintained it as SMU shot less than 40 percent.

Merriweather applauded the play and mentality that the Tigers showed from the outset.

“We were aggressive and we attacked, and I am really excited about this win because it shows we do have the ability to bounce back,” Merriweather said.

University of Memphis head coach Katrina Merriweather gives her Tigers some in-game instruction. (Screen capture

The Tigers now have clinched their first regular-season winning record since 2013.

“Every game is important, and we are jockeying for position getting ready for the conference tournament,” Merriweather said.

“We will continue to get better every day and I am confident the players will continue to improve.”