Tigers Scrape By Ole Miss, 87-86

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The Memphis Tigers squared off against regional rival Ole Miss at FedExForum Saturday. It was the Tigers' third game without star center James Wiseman, who is serving a 12-game suspension levied by the NCAA. 
Precious Achiuwa - LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Larry Kuzniewski
  • Precious Achiuwa

The first half was close, with the lead see-sawing back-and-forth, neither team able to create much separation until five minutes before the intermission, when the Tigers made a few stops and stretched the lead to seven points, 45-38, at half. Memphis was led in scoring by Precious Achiuwa (13) and D.J. Jeffries (10) in the first half. 
Coach Penny Hardaway - PHOTOGRAPHS BY LARRY KUZNIEWSKI
  • Photographs by Larry Kuzniewski
  • Coach Penny Hardaway

Achiuwa came out aggressively in the opening minutes of the second half, scoring a quick seven points on a couple of strong drives and a steal at mid-court that was followed by a drive and dunk. The Tigers defense also ramped up a notch, forcing several turnovers and pushing the Tigers' lead to 11 at the 16-minute mark.

Tyler Harris knocked down a pair of three-pointers to push the Tigers' lead to 14 with 12 minutes to go. But Ole Miss began chipping away, and with three minutes left, the Tigers' lead was down to eight. Ole Miss cut the lead to three with 16 seconds left, and then to 2 with 8 seconds to go. Damien Baugh made one of two free throws, giving the Tigers a three-point lead — and giving Ole Miss a shot to tie with a three-pointer.

The Tigers fouled Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree in the backcourt with 5 seconds left. Tyree made the first of two and missed the second, giving the Tigers a quick fast-break bucket, which was followed by a buzzer-beating Ole Miss three-pointer from half-court, making the final score 87-86.

Achiuwa led the Tigers with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Jeffries had 23 points; Tyler Harris added 15, and Lomax finished with 14. 

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