Lady Tigers head coach Melissa McFerrin had a look of both discouragement and defeat on her face after her team suffered yet another loss at the hands of AAC cellar dweller East Carolina University.
“We played our butts off,” McFerrin simply stated after the 61-57 setback.
“But we just came up short.”
The Tigers (13-12, 4-8 AAC) came into the Elma Roane Fieldhouse with revenge on their minds after an earlier 71-65 loss to ECU (6-18, 4-8 AAC). But they fell behind 30-15 at intermission.
Memphis rallied to cut the deficit into single digits early in the third quarter. Despite Memphis outscoring the Lady Pirates 42-31 in the second half, East Carolina staved off a huge rally by the Tigers to take home the victory.
Here are a few takeaways from the Lady Tigers setback against ECU:
Monk and Thompson were simply too much for Memphis: East Carolina guards Lashonda Monk and Taniyah Thompson dominated the ball for the Pirates, and it worked to perfection. Despite the duo going 14-35 from the field, they helped control the pace of the game for East Carolina, which despite a second-half collapse, managed to escape the Elma Roane Fieldhouse with a victory over the beleaguered Tigers.
Memphis struggles with turnovers: East Carolina, who is second in the nation in forced turnovers, played ferocious defense to stifle the Tigers, who responded with 18 first-half turnovers on the way to 26 total. Tigers guard Gazmyne Herndon turned the rock over nine times in total, and while the Tigers only surrendered the ball to the Lady Pirates eight times in the second half, it was too little, too late.
First half field goal shooting hampers Tigers: The shooting of the Tigers during the first half severely hampered their attempts to stay in the game early. The Lady Tigers shot 0-11 from the three-point line in the first half, on the way to a woeful 3-20 performance. Madison Griggs, the team’s best three point shooter, made only 3 of her 14 shots from the three point-line, but she finished with 13 points overall in the contest. Junior forward Alana Davis led the Lady Tigers with 16 points and 9 rebounds.
Mendjiadeu continues dominant play: Memphis junior forward Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu produced her 10th double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. She was named to the Honor Roll of the Week in the AAC, completing a week in which Mendjiadeu averaged 16 ppg and 12 rebounds against Wichita State and East Carolina.
What’s next for both teams: The Lady Tigers have a matchup against Temple at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. East Carolina plays Tulsa Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.