TAMPA, Fla. — It’s March, but instead of madness there was gladness for Memphis Tigers fans.
The University of Memphis’s men’s basketball team stoked the faint embers of a berth in the NCAA tournament Tuesday night by beating up on the University of South Florida Bulls in Tampa, coming away with a 73-52 win.
For the sixth game in a row, Memphis’ starters were Landers Nolley, Boogie Ellis, Lester Quinones, Deandre Williams, and Moussa Cisse. The Tigers were led by Boogie Ellis with 18 points and 4 rebounds. Deandre Williams added 13 and 9 boards, and Lester Quinones contributed 12 points and 7 rebounds.
The Tigers pounced to a 36-23 lead at halftime behind 12 points by Boogie Ellis. D. J. Jeffries has 8 points and 3 rebounds, and Deandre Williams added 7 points and 2 boards at the break. Memphis dominated the boards, out-rebounding USF 27-13 at halftime.
Memphis’ record improves to 15-6 overall and 11-3 in the American Athletic Conference.
The Tigers’ last regular season contest is a road game against Houston this Sunday in the Fertitta Center. Memphis has yet to play a ranked team this season, and beating the Cougars --who currently are ranked 9th in the Associated Press poll-- on the road would help the Tigers’ chances of making the NCAA tournament.