Final: UCF 74 Memphis 64 as Tigers continue to Underachieve

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The Memphis Tigers depth was supposed to be a strength of their basketball team coming into the 2021-22 season in the macro. In the micro-view the Tigers were favored (-1.0 per Caesars) at tip against Central Florida. Clearly there is much work ahead for the Tigers if they expect to be an "at-large" NCAA Tournament team. Final: UCF 74 Memphis 64

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Tyler Harris led the Tigers in scoring with 15, including another stellar 3-point performance (5 of 6 from the arc). Wisely, Penny stayed with a tight seven-man rotation which contributed to a solid performance. But on the road it wasn't enough to overcome UCF's 3-point volume shooting prowess (11-of-28/39.3%). The Tigers only shot 38% from THE FIELD and couldn't capitalize at the free throw line going 6-of-18 (33%).

Next up: Memphis (9-6) takes on East Carolina on the road on Saturday (1/15) at 3:00 p.m. on ESPN+.

January 12, 2022

Tigers Drop 74-64 Contest at UCF

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Memphis Tigers, playing with only seven players, trimmed a 19-point deficit to seven but could not finish the comeback in a 74-64 loss at UCF Wednesday night in Orlando, Fla.

The loss snaps Memphis’ three-game winning streak, but the Tigers (9-6, 3-2 AAC) have still won four of their last six games. UCF moves to 10-4 overall and 2-2 in American Athletic Conference play.

Tyler Harris led the Tigers with 15 points, hitting five 3-pointers. He also grabbed four rebounds and had three assists. Emoni Bates finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, and Landers Nolley II added 11 and six assists. Malcolm Dandridge ended the game with 10 points.

The Tigers trailed by 15 at the 3:56 mark of the first half but scored eight of the final 10 points of the half to cut the deficit to nine at the break, 36-27. Harris and Nolley II led the Tigers in the first 20 minutes with nine and seven points, respectively. Harris was 3-for-3 from behind the arc in the first.

But UCF scored 10 of the first 11 points to start the second half and opened up a 47-28 lead, their largest of the ballgame. The Tigers used an 8-0 run to close within seven, 54-47 with 10:47 to play, but got no closer the rest of the way.

The Tigers shot 39.7 percent in the game (25-63) and made eight of their 22 3-point tries (.364). UCF hit 11-of-28 from behind the arc (.393) and had 15 second-chance points off 11 offensive rebounds.

Darin Green Jr. led the Knights with 20 points.

UP NEXT

The Tigers remain on the road at East Carolina Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. The game can be seen on ESPN+. Memphis’ next home game is next Thursday, Jan. 20, against SMU. The contest against the Mustangs tips off at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

POSTGAME NOTES

Memphis used the starting lineup of Tyler HarrisLester QuinonesJosh MinottMalcolm Dandridge and Jalen Duren for the first time this season.The Tigers have now used 11 different starting lineups in 15 games this year and in each of the last eight games.Eleven different players have started a game this season.The loss snaps Memphis’ five-game winning streak over the Knights.The Tigers still lead the all-time series, 27-7.UCF’s last win against Memphis was on Feb. 16, 2019.Tyler Harris led the Tigers in scoring for the second-straight game and team-high fourth time this season.His five 3-pointers are a season high and match his AAC career high (vs. Wichita State, 3/5/20).He now has 164 triples in his Memphis career, moving him past Willie Kemp (162, 2006-10) and Marcus Moody (163, 1997-01) into sixth place on the Tigers’ career leaderboard.Emoni Bates scored in double figures for the second-straight game and sixth time this season.His seven rebounds match a career high (vs. Cincinnati, 1/9/22).Landers Nolley II had 10-plus points for the eighth time this year, matching Jalen Duren for the team lead.He dished out six assists, equaling a career high (vs. Alabama, 12/14/21).The redshirt-junior now has 27 assists in the last six games.