Tuesday, November 12, 2019

#14 Oregon 82, #13 Tigers 74

Posted By on Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 10:37 PM

The most talked-about college basketball team in the country took its show on the road Tuesday night for the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon. The 13th-ranked Memphis Tigers fell behind by 12 points in the first half, trailed by six (41-35) at halftime, but managed to take the lead (49-48) early in the second half on a three-pointer by Lester Quinones. But a 9-0 run by the Ducks following the Quinones trey gave Oregon a lead they wouldn't relinquish in handing Memphis its first loss of the season.
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James Wiseman
— the Tigers' star freshman who was declared ineligible by the NCAA last Friday — started for Memphis but committed two fouls in the game's first five minutes. He finished the contest with 14 points and 12 rebounds in limited action, an indication of why coach Penny Hardaway and the U of M powers that be are willing to risk further sanctions by playing Wiseman after the NCAA's initial ruling. (The case involves a payment Hardaway made to Wiseman's mother for moving expenses in 2017, when the player was in high school and Hardaway coached the East High Mustangs in Memphis. Wiseman played two years for the Mustangs before committing to the U of M.)

Payton Pritchard drained a three-pointer with less than two minutes to play to give Oregon an eight-point lead (77-69) and all but secure the victory. Favorites to win the Pac-12 Conference, the Ducks improve to 3-0 while Memphis falls to 2-1. Hardaway is now 0-5 as head coach against teams from "Power 5" leagues.

Quinones led the Tigers with 16 points while point guard Damion Baugh added 11 and D.J. Jeffries 12 off the bench.  Freshman forward Precious Achiuwa — like Wiseman, a five-star recruit — found foul trouble early and was held to five points in 24 minutes on the floor. Boogie Ellis missed nine of 11 shots (and six of eight from three-point range).

The Tigers return to FedExForum to face Alcorn State Saturday. Wiseman is expected to play, with a hearing for his case scheduled for Monday. Tip-off will be at 1 p.m.

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