Sitting in 6th place in the American Athletic Conference standings, the Memphis Tigers needed a win against Tulane and they achieved that goal. After losing to the Green Wave by two on the road earlier this season, Memphis came out on top, defeating Tulane 90-78 at home.
“Proud of the team, almost a flawless game until we gave up 49 points in the second half,” said Memphis Head Coach Penny Hardaway. “But overall, collectively, the guys that got minutes out there did a fantastic job.”
Memphis got a jump on Tulane in the 1st half on offense and secured a lead that they wouldn’t surrender for the entirety of the game. Up 25-6 at one point in the game, the Tigers looked locked in from the start and star guard David Jones had 13 first half points, shooting a perfect 5/5 from the field (3/3 from 3).
Along with a good offensive performance, Memphis also created havoc on defense which led Tulane to an inefficient first half. Tulane only shot 27.9% from the field along with with 9 turnovers and 9 assists.
The Tigers shot significantly better and had better ball distribution, shooting 53.3% from the field to go along with 10 assists and only 7 turnovers.
The Tigers led 42-26 at the half. Jahvon Quinerly had his best shooting half since the start of Memphis’ four game losing streak, shooting 3/3 from 3 and chalking up 4 assists.
The Green Wave made a push in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 49-44, and they shot significantly better from the field at 47.1%. However, the cushion Memphis built in the first half helped them keep a double digit lead the entire second half. The Tigers did just enough to have an answer to every attempt their opponents made to come back.
Jones, Quinerly, and Nae’Qwan Tomlin served as a big three today, combining for 57 points ( Jones 23, Quinerly 18, Tomlin 16), but the Tigers got contributions from everyone as the bench garnered 22 points compared to Tulane’s 16 in the 90-78 win.
Penny Hardaway’s group played their most complete game in weeks Sunday, and they will need to continue to build on this momentum to play their way back into the NCAA tournament picture.
The Tigers have a massive week ahead of them, as they will play at North Texas on Thursday night at 7 P.M. CT before traveling to SMU on Sunday for a pivotal game against the Mustangs. Another 2-0 week would go a long way for Memphis’ NCAA tournament resume.