Size still matters in college basketball, and the Tigers got an ugly reminder in the quarterfinals of the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando. Oklahoma State blocked 10 Memphis shots — six of them by Yor Anei alone — and dominated the glass (40 rebounds to the Tigers' 30) to advance to Friday's semifinals where the Cowboys will face reigning national champion Villanova. The loss ruined a Thanksgiving homecoming of sorts for Memphis coach Penny Hardaway, who starred for the Orlando Magic for six seasons in the 1990s.
Memphis stuck with its Big 12 opponent for the game's first 13 minutes. Freshman guard Tyler Harris
drained a three-pointer to give the Tigers a 22-20 lead with 7:40 to play before halftime. But the Cowboys outscored the U of M, 21-9, to finish the half. The Tigers never again closed the margin to less than nine points.
Already undersized, the Tigers' attack was further compromised by two first-half fouls called on senior forward Kyvon Davenport. Six Cowboys scored in double figures, led by Thomas Dziagwa with 14 points.
Harris led the Tigers with 14 points. Davenport added 12 while Jeremiah Martin
and Kareem Brewton
each scored 10.
The loss drops Memphis to 2-2 for the season. The Tigers will face Canisius on the losers' side of the tourney bracket Friday, with tip-off scheduled for 12:30 p.m.