Memphis Tigers drop second straight as Tulane wins, 81-79

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NEW ORLEANS – The Memphis Tigers, reeling from an upset loss to South Florida, traveled to New Orleans only to suffer a narrow defeat against the Tulane Green Wave, 81-79.

“When it rains, it pours. When things start going south for your team… We do everything possible to give this game away, and we did,” said head coach Penny Hardaway.

In an energetic game at Tulane, the Green Wave initially led 20-15, but Memphis responded with a 9-0 run. Despite aggressive play from Tulane, leading to 15 free throw attempts, the Tigers showcased strong defense, highlighted by Malcolm Dandridge’s six first-half blocks.

Jaykwon Walton stood out with his three-point shooting, contributing 11 points in the first half. The Tigers, however, struggled with ball protection, tallying nine turnovers against Tulane’s five. The first half ended in a 34-34 tie, marked by five lead changes.

The second half saw no team leading by more than seven points. Two critical events shifted the game’s momentum – Dandridge’s fourth foul and a flagrant foul on Jahvon Quinerly. These allowed Tulane to gain a brief lead.

In the closing minute, with Tulane leading 79-77, Colin Holloway’s successful free throws widened the gap. Memphis’s defense forced a shot clock violation with 14 seconds left, but they failed to capitalize, missing two final shots as Tulane fans rushed the court in celebration.

Tulane’s Logan Stephens led with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. For Memphis, Jones tallied 32 points, and Dandridge had a standout game with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 blocks. Hardaway praised Dandridge’s efforts, calling them “unbelievable.”

Reflecting on the team’s direction, Dandridge emphasized the need to focus defensively and play to strengths. Hardaway acknowledged the team’s challenges, including injuries, but remained hopeful about their resilience.

The Tigers, facing a week-long break, will next play the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Jan. 28. Meanwhile, Memphis announced the return of Jordan Brown to the team after a weeks-long absence.