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Memphis Tigers start new winning streak with 90-78 victory over Tulane

The Memphis Tigers, once poised for a high seed in the NCAA tournament, found themselves on the NCAA bubble after four straight losses in conference play. However, with two consecutive wins under their belt, they hosted the Tulane Green Wave, a team that had beaten them in their last three regular-season meetings.

“Almost a flawless game, until we gave up 49 points in the second half,” said Tigers Coach Penny Hardaway. “We keep giving up points in the second half. We are starting to get complacent, and that is going to catch up to you at some point.”

Hardaway also emphasized the need for consistency: “You must believe in the game plan and keep the energy high. The last two first halves were great, the second halves weren’t.”

The Tigers started slowly, trailing 3-2 in the first few minutes. However, their offense and defense soon exploded, opening a 19-point lead (25-6) on a Jordan Brown turnaround jumper. They maintained a double-digit lead into halftime (46-29).

Tulane outscored the Tigers in the second half, but the Tigers did not allow the game to slip below a 10-point margin. David Jones continued his excellent form, leading the team with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Jahvon Quinerly also had a strong offensive game with 18 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds, while Nae Qwan Tomlin added 16 points and was a significant inside presence.

“That is a great stat. Guys are playing unselfishly,” Quinerly said about the team’s playmaking. “I think we did a great job of that today. It is good to get back on a winning streak, and we are trying to build off this performance.”

Tomlin spoke about the team’s newfound defensive focus: “We are playing harder after those four losses. We have put an emphasis on playing defense and playing harder and getting more stops. We were not focused on beating teams by scoring more.”

Tulane struggled to find an offensive rhythm, with six players scoring in double digits, led by Collin Holloway with 16 points.

Hardaway addressed the importance of the win: “This game was important. We gave one away against South Florida and had to go on the road to Tulane and UAB. We understood what was going on today and the magnitude. We took care of business and are playing at a high level.”

The Tigers will next embark on a two-game Texas trip, facing North Texas in Denton on February 15 and SMU on February 18.

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