MEMPHIS – In front of a capacity crowd of over 1,800 fans, the Memphis Tiger women’s basketball team played in their first postseason tournament game for the first time in seven seasons. Memphis would come away with the 79-68 win over Jackson State to move on to the second round of the WNIT and take on Ball State on Monday night.

This is the first WNIT win for Memphis since the 2011-12 season.

Following tonight’s game, Memphis moves to 21-10 overall.

The Tigers got out to a hot start, taking an 11-4 lead after Jamirah Shutes drained the team’s third three-pointer of the quarter and forced a Jackson State timeout. They would extend their lead out to 14-8 after Destyne Jackson got in on the action for the 14-8 lead with less than five minutes left in the quarter.

JSU would make a comeback late in the quarter, getting within three of Memphis. Buckets from Emani Jefferson and Lanetta Williamswould give Memphis the 23-16 lead heading into the second quarter.

It was all Memphis to start the second frame, getting a lead as much as 14 after Madison Griggs scored eight straight points and forced Jackson State to call another timeout with a little over six minutes left in the half. 

While JSU continued to try and get within reaching distance of Memphis, the duo of Griggs and Shutes would keep the Tigers ahead. They would combine for over half of the team’s points in the first half, giving Memphis the 43-32 lead heading into the break.

Memphis and Jackson State would go shot-for-shot in the third quarter.

Shutes and Destiny Thomas would push Memphis ahead after six consecutive points to give the Tigers the 60-45 lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the game.

JSU would make a run for Memphis in the fourth quarter. After Memphis pushed their lead out to as much as 19 after a three-pointer from Makaiya Brooks and a putback layup from Thomas with eight minutes left in the game.

Jackson State would get a late offensive push with baskets on three straight possessions to make it a 69-57 game at the fourth quarter media timeout. But, Memphis would sink eight free-throws down the stretch and secure the 79-68 win.

Jamirah Shutes led the team with a season-tying 24 points on 7-15 shooting while Madison Griggs and Emani Jefferson added in 14 and 12 points, respectively. After a long-range shooting drought, the Tigers opened up shop tonight with eight three-pointers from five different players.

As a team, Memphis shot 35% from the field and grabbed 48 rebounds.

Memphis will play in the second round of the WNIT on Monday, March 20 inside Elma Roane Fieldhouse against Ball State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT. Ticket link and coverage of the game will be released at a later date.