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Wichita State Ends Memphis' Season in AAC Tournament

David Jones dribbles by a Wichita State defender.
David Jones dribbles by a Wichita State defender.

The Wichita State Shockers stunned the Memphis Tigers 71-65 in the Tigers’ first game of the American Athletic Conference tournament. The Tigers’ effort and play was bad for most of the game except for the last seven minutes, when their attempted comeback fell short.  

“It was an expected win,” said Wichita State coach Paul Mills after the game. 

David Jones was the team’s leading scorer with 24 points. He also added seven rebounds, three assists and four steals. Nae’Qwan Tomlin had a great game as well. He had 18 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. Jahvon Quinerly struggled, shooting only 3 for 15 from the field. 

Wichita State guard Harlond Beverly had an amazing game. He had 17 points along with six rebounds, five steals and five blocks. The Shockers had 10 blocks as a team.  

The Tigers struggled from the field, shooting 36.2% from the field and 27.6% from three. They took care of the ball well but got outrebounded by six. Wichita State shot 46.7% from the field and 30.4% from three.  

At the start of the game, Wichita State quickly got out to a 14-9 lead. Memphis made a run, and the game went back and forth. Memphis’ struggled on both ends of the floor, but they kept the game close. Wichita State led 35-33 at the half. 

Wichita State played well in the first half, shooting 53.6% from the field. They were led by Dalen Ridgnal and Bijan Cortes. Ridgnal had eight points and two blocks, while Cortes had seven points and two rebounds.  

Wichita State came out of the half with a 9-0 run, extending their lead to 11. The Shockers led by 14 at one point and were pulling away.  

Memphis started applying full-court pressure and stormed back, cutting it to five with seven minutes left. Back-to-back David Jones threes cut the lead to one with 4:22 remaining. The Tigers took the lead, but Wichita State responded and held on for the victory. 

After the game, coach Hardaway shut down the idea of accepting a bid to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), effectively announcing that this was Memphis’ last game. 

This loss ends a disappointing Memphis season where they were ranked as high as 10th in the country. They had a chance to make the NCAA tournament, but, like many games this year, the Tigers struggled to play a complete game. 

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