The Memphis Tigers fall short of a potential upset as they were defeated by the #2 Houston Cougars 72-64.
The Tigers were clear underdogs going into the game as they had to play without star guard Kendric Davis, who is out with an ankle injury.
On the bright side of things, the Tigers got Alex Lomax and Malcolm Dandridge back into the rotation from injury.
Lomax last played January 11th versus UCF and Dandridge saw the floor for the first time since December 13th versus Alabama.
Lomax went scoreless in 29 minutes but provided 7 rebounds and 3 assists off the bench. Dandridge only played 6 minutes but scored 2 points with 3 rebounds.
The Tigers were led by Elijah McCadden with 20 points and DeAndre Williams with 18 points. The effort was not enough as Houston was led by J’wan Roberts and Marcus Sasser who both scored 20 points.
The Tigers were down 11 at half-time but found themselves in multiple positions to take control of the game, but fouls and turnovers prevented them from truly making the necessary comeback.
The Tigers committed 22 fouls and 18 turnovers, which has been a recent trend for them that they will continue to improve on ahead of the conference tournament.
The free-throw shooting also hurt the Tigers as they only shot 63% from the line missing a total of 7 free throws.
Although, the Tigers had multiple glowing spots as they shot 40 percent from three and a plus 4 advantage on rebounds.
The loss moves Memphis down to the third spot in the conference standings behind Tulane. Houston still sits atop the number one spot in the conference standings, and they will most likely be ranked number one in the AP top 25.
Memphis suffers only their seventh loss of the season and their fourth conference loss.
Going into the game, Memphis was projected to be an 11th seed in the NCAA Tournament according to Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology.
Despite the loss, Memphis does make a case to the committee by keeping it a close game versus a top seed without their best player.
The best-case scenario for the Tigers to make the tournament is to win out the rest of the season and make a deep run in the conference tournament like last year.
That all starts as the Tigers will stay on the road to face Wichita State before heading back home.
The game will take place on Thursday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2. A game that will most likely see the Tigers without Kendric Davis once again.