The University of Memphis basketball team (21-9, 10-7 American Athletic Conference) victorious over the Wichita State Shockers (22-8, 10-7 AAC) 68-60 in the home regular season finale.
Memphis got a big victory as their little hope of an automatic bid still hangs in the balance. Only time will tell to see how much hope the Tigers have left in the regard.
“Very proud of the team tonight. We focused on the game plan and executed it,” Hardaway said.
Defense Wins Games
Memphis had an excellent showing on the defensive side of the ball in Thursday’s game. They allowed the Shockers to shoot under 35 percent from the field and 26 percent from deep.
“We lock in on the game plan and we stay taking advantage of the other team’s weaknesses,” Hardaway said.
Hardaway all season long has preached to his team about being discipline on defense and understanding where to be. The Tigers Thursday night put the clamps on the Shockers.
As a team, Memphis collected 4 blocks and forced 10 turnovers on the team who is second in the AAC in fewest turnovers a game. The Tigers will look to keep up the strong defense in their next game at Houston to play the Cougars.
Tyler Harris for…3
Memphis sophomore guard, Tyler Harris, put on a show from the three-point line. The guard from Cordova High went five for nine from deep that is good for 55 percent. He finished the game with 19 points and four assists.
“My teammates helped me out tonight,” Harris said. “Whenever they need me, I am there.”
The Tigers would love to repeat tonight’s shooting performance because it was something to watch. The first four made field-goals were all from the three-point line.
Memphis as of late have not been that great from downtown only making five and six total in their last two games respectfully.
In Thursday’s White Out game, Memphis was lights out by making 10 threes against the Shockers. The last time the Tigers had a double-digit three-point game was early February against Temple.
Harris was not alone in the party from distance. Memphis forward, Lance Thomas, hit three long range shots of his own in the game.
If this team can bring this hot display to Houston on Sunday and beat the Cougars, then they will be in great shape heading into the AAC tournament.
Lack of Turnovers
Time and time again this season the Tigers were a team who constantly turned the ball over to the opposite team and got themselves in trouble. The game against the Shockers was vastly different and in a good way.
Memphis turned the ball over just seven times. It marks the second time this season that the nation’s leading turnover team held themselves under 10 turnovers.
“We had a better understanding of what we want, and we stayed locked in,” Hardaway said.”
The Tigers did an excellent job of taking care of the ball and playing their style of basketball in the same game.
Best thing about it was that Memphis only turned the ball over once in the second half which was huge in order to take control of the game down the stretch.
Memphis needs to find a way to bring this level of play on the road in order to be successful down the rest of the season.
Big night for the basketball team as they got the win. Precious Achiuwa collected his 17th double-double of the season, and the Queens, N.Y. native has really upped his game each and every time he touches the floor.
Harris had an outstanding shooting performance in his young collegiate career. One he would most definitely remember, even though he does not want to remember the miss turn around three that he attempted in the second half.
“I know exactly which one you talking about,” Harris said. “I just hope that it won’t get on social media.”
Memphis has a chance on Sunday to put a stamp on the end of this long, yet crazy season. They play a Houston team that they have already beaten this season, so the confidence will be high for the Tigers heading into a big match-up.
“I am sure Coach Sampson and their fans are going to be fired up and we have to find a way to get it done,” Hardaway said.
The hometown Tigers will be in another must win game if they want to clinch the fourth and final seed in next week’s AAC tournament.