Saturday, December 16, 2017

Louisville 81, Tigers 72

Posted By on Sat, Dec 16, 2017 at 1:17 PM

It may not have been Keith Lee against Milt Wagner, but it was Memphis and Louisville. In Madison Square Garden, no less.
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Playing their third of four games in the Gotham Classic, the Tigers battled gallantly against a Cardinal team forecast to be among the nation's top 20 before Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino was fired under a cloud of scandal. Junior point guard Jeremiah Martin put Memphis up (40-38) with a driving layup to open the second half, but the Cardinals simply had too much Deng Adel and Anas Mahmoud. A pair of Adel three-pointers keyed a 17-2 run that allowed Louisville to seize control and the seven-foot Mahmoud blocked seven shots, outplaying the undersized Tiger frontcourt by himself.

A Martin jumper closed the margin to four points (60-56) with just over eight minutes to play, but Louisville answered with a 9-0 run that put the game out of reach. The Cardinals improve to 8-2 with the win while Memphis falls to 7-3. This was Louisville's 54th win over a 90-game series with Memphis that dates back to the 1948-49 season. (No future games are currently scheduled between the rivals.)

Quentin Snider led the Cardinals with 18 points while Adel added 15 (all via three-pointer) and V.J. King 16. Martin paced the Tigers with 26 points while Kyvon Davenport added 12 points and seven rebounds. Kareem Brewton scored nine points for Memphis and Mike Parks eight, but neither player was effective in the second half.

The Tigers' highlight of the game came just before halftime, when senior Jimario Rivers slammed home a one-handed dunk on a lob from Brewton to tie the game at 38. It won't otherwise be a game for the Rivers highlight film: the forward was not credited with a rebound.

Louisville shot 56 percent from three-point range, hitting 14 of 25 long-range attempts. The Tigers only hit four of 11 three-pointers and shot 45 percent overall.

Memphis returns to FedExForum Wednesday and will host Siena in its fifth of seven home games in December.

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