A former White Station Spartan took over today's game on Paradise Island, leading his team to a win in the Battle 4 Atlantis losers' bracket. Trouble is, that player is a Minnesota Golden Gopher.
Andre Hollins — a teammate of the Tigers' Joe Jackson in high school — hit 12 of 16 field-goal attempts (including all five from beyond the three-point line) and scored 41 points in leading Minnesota to the win over a Memphis team that suddenly finds itself in crisis mode.
Memphis center Tarik Black picked up two early fouls and spent the majority of the game on Josh Pastner's bench (not far from Jackson, who played only seven minutes after a dreadful performance yesterday in a loss to VCU). Shaq Goodwin made the first start of his college career, but also had four fouls limit his stat line (12 points, 7 rebounds).
Tiger senior D.J. Stephens came off the bench and scored a career-high 15 points, including a three-pointer that gave Memphis the lead, 68-67, with six minutes to play. But Stephens missed a pair of key free throws, as did Chris Crawford, who went to the line twice inside the game's final seven minutes with a chance to tie the score. Andre Hollins didn't miss when it counted, though, connecting on four straight foul shots to extend the Gopher lead to 79-72 with 48 seconds to go.
Memphis will play the loser of today's Stanford-Northern Iowa game in tomorrow's version of "loser swim home." Only one of the eight teams in this tournament will leave the island 0-3. If that team is the Tigers (now 2-2), Memphis will have a losing record for the first time since dropping the opening game of the 2003-04 season to Wake Forest.