Thanks to a stingy defensive performance from the Tigers, Memphis (7-2) emerged victorious against Southern (0-5). (Photo: Liaudwin Seaberry Jr.)

Liaudwin Seaberry Jr. —

Fresh off her team playing on the road for the last two weeks, University of Memphis Tigers Women’s Basketball Head Coach Katrina Merriweather was relieved for her team to be in the friendly confines of the Elma Roane Fieldhouse against Southern. 

“I have never coached in an environment with so much going on and so much energy,” Merriweather said with a smile after the game (Dec. 4). 

That home court advantage certainly favored the Tigers, but Southern refused to let Memphis get comfortable and competed from the start of the game.

Thanks to a stingy defensive performance from the Tigers, Memphis (7-2) emerged victorious against Southern (0-5) by a score of 57-50. 

Southern’s Jaguars made a run at the Tigers but could not surmount the solid start that Memphis maintained on the way to a 57-50 victory. (Photo: Liaudwin Seaberry Jr.)

The Jaguars let it be known early that their record wouldn’t determine the outcome of the game.

From the outset, the Tigers set the pace for the contest, hitting 11 of their first 19 shots during the first half. 

They also limited the Jaguars on the defensive end, allowing Southern to convert on only seven of 23 shots, while taking a 28-20 lead into intermission. 

The Tigers set out to right the ship after the Nov. 30 blowout defeat at the hands of Alabama. 

Jamirah Shutes led the team with 12 points, center Tyler Frierson chipped in 9, and fellow post player Alana Davis produced 8 points. Southern put the clamps on the Memphis offense in the second half. The Jaguars allowed the Tigers to convert on only 4 of 17 field goal attempts, and their stingy defense led Memphis into 22 turnovers for the game. 

However, Memphis steadied its game and survived a back-and-forth contest.

Happy her team finished the job, Merriweather is aware an opponent’s record does not automatically reflect what their effort will be when facing a team expected to dominate them. 

“Coming into the game, our staff explained to them why their (Southern) record was what it is, and that’s because they have faced several top-25 opponents so far,” Merriweather said.

“I definitely think our team respected them entering the game, but I do not think that they understood some of what we told them prior to the contest. … 

“We tell them to move on from the wins, so we also have to move on from the losses.” Merriweather added, “I am happy that the team played as well as they did, and now it’s time to take a break and relax.”

Notes: 

The Tigers will be on the road for their next two games against Towson on Dec. 14 and Howard Dec. 17. 

They will return to the Elma Roane Fieldhouse to face Tulsa on Jan. 5.