A team that went 32-3 a year ago invaded FedExForum tonight and beat the home team soundly. Taken on its own, not such a bad development.
But this was Stephen F. Austin of the Southland Conference, a mid-major power at best. There were times tonight the U of M made the Lumberjacks look like Steve Austin, the bionic superman from the Seventies TV hit The Six Million Dollar Man.
The game was tied (27-27) at halftime, and Memphis led (44-43) with 10:00 to play, but SFA enjoyed an 11-0 run keyed by three-pointers from freshman Ty Charles and junior Clide Geffrard to secure its fourth win of the young season. The Lumberjacks were led by Geffrard's 14 points and 13 from Jacob Parker. Sophomore forward Austin Nichols scored 16 to lead Memphis while junior Shaq Goodwin added 15. Trahson Burrell came off the bench to score 10, making four of his six shots from the field.
The Tigers' shooting woes continued as they missed 12 of 13 three-point attempts. (SFA hit seven of 20 from beyond the arc.) The Memphis stat sheet again shows more turnovers (16) than assists (12), as much a concern for coach Josh Pastner as the poor shooting. The loss drops the Tigers to 2-3 for the season, with their next eight games to be played at FedExForum. (Tonight's game was the team's 200th played at Third and Beale. The Tigers' home record: 178-22.)
Next on the schedule is Bradley this Saturday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 pm.