The 13th ranked Memphis Tigers got their first taste of defeat as they were beaten 82-74 against the 14th-ranked Oregon Ducks Tuesday at the Moda Center.
Coming into the contest, both teams played their first two games against smaller schools, so this was the first big test for each team. As the news of their star still looms, the Tigers still have to play basketball, and tonight’s loss to a veteran team like Oregon showed the teams lack of experience.
The game started with a quick pace, missed shots and turnovers. Oregon put up six threes within the first five minutes of the game and bricked five of them, but still maintained a lead throughout the half. Memphis did a lot of standing around to start and also had a lack of passing on the offensive end of the court.
At the 7:38 media timeout in the first half, the Ducks had a double-digit lead, 25-15. After trading baskets, Memphis cut the Oregon lead 30-29 with a Lester Quinones three and a pair of Alex Lomax buckets. The Ducks went on a run after the Tigers did to close the half with a 41-35 lead.
James Wiseman got in foul trouble early, with one foul in the first 17 seconds of the game and the second coming at the 15-minute mark. He did not come back into the first half but did start the second half.
The second period was mostly the same as the first, with both teams turning the ball over and missing shots. The half started with a back and forth pace and an aggressive Tigers defense. Memphis forced three turnovers in a row on the Ducks, and Quinones added five straight points as the road team took a 49-48 lead.
That quickly went away as the Ducks went on a 12-2 run, which was answered by the Tigers to cut the Oregon lead to five. Ultimately the Ducks regained a big lead late and finished the game against the Tigers by hitting late threes to send Memphis home with a loss.
Stats of the Game
Memphis was led by Quinones with 16 points and four assists. He shot 4-14 from the field and 2-8 from deep. Wiseman followed with 14 points and 12 boards. That was his second double-double game of the season. DJ Jeffries and Damion Baugh were the last two guys to score in double figures with 12 and 11, respectively.
Oregon was led by one of their seniors in Shakur Juiston. He finished the game with 17 points and 10 boards. Their main star, Payton Pritchard, finished the game with 14 points and six assists along with six turnovers.
Memphis kept fighting their way back into this one, but too many missed shots, and early foul trouble prevented the team from finding their groove.
Hardaway should look to this game as a learning experience for a young team. With his squad holding their own against a tough opponent and without Wiseman most of the first half, it shows a high ceiling for the team.
The Tigers will look to get back to winning as they return home Saturday and play against Alcorn State.