MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The University of Memphis women’s basketball team opened the 2023-24 season tonight at Middle Tennessee State against the Blue Raiders. A slow offensive start and fouls would prove costly as the Tigers fell 67-47 Monday night.
Middle Tennessee opened the game on a hot streak, hitting four of its first five shots in route to a 13-4 lead at the first quarter media timeout.
Fouls proved costly to the Tigers in the first frame, sending the Blue Raiders to the line 13 times.
Madison Griggs would drain her first three-pointer of the season with 2:29 left in the first quarter to cut the Tigers deficit to 20-11, but five made free throws from the Lady Raiders would put Memphis down 25-11 after 10 minutes.
Memphis would get a spark in its offense to start the second quarter with Griggs’ second three-pointer of the night along with a lay-up from Latazia Williamson to make it a 27-11 game with just under seven minutes left in the half.
After going bucket-for-bucket, the Tigers would end the half on a 9-0 run backed up baskets from Griggs, Kai Carter and Aliyah Green to cut the MTSU lead to 36-27 heading into the half.
MTSU opened the third quarter with a 6-2 run to extend its lead back out to 13. Destyne Jackson gave the Tigers momentum with 6:55 left in the quarter when she drained a three-pointer while drawing the foul to complete the four-point play.
Fouls continued to be Memphis’ enemy, sending MTSU to the line eight times in the third quarter with five of the makes coming in the final four minutes of the quarter.
Raven Sims would get her first points of her collegiate career with a fast-break lay-up with 2:25 remaining in the quarter that earned her a trip to the free throw line as well. Memphis would face a 53-37 deficit heading into the final 10 minutes of the game.
It was a battle in the final quarter of the game, both teams’ defenses locking down.
Despite hanging with the Blue Raiders in the final frame, Memphis was not able to make a comeback and suffered the 67-47 loss.
Madison Griggs led the charge, offensively, with 12 points while Alasia Smith and Kai Carter both chipped in eight points, each. Smith nearly missed a double-double with nine rebounds, five of them coming on the offensive end.
Memphis won the battle on the boards 45-41 while forcing MTSU into 15 turnovers – more than its average from a season ago.
The Tigers will play in its home opener on Thursday, Nov. 9 against Alabama State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Coverage is available on ESPN+ and on 98.9 FM The Roar of Memphis with Tyler Springs on the call.