The Tigers have their first winning streak of the season. Utilizing a 14-0 run to erase a two-point (42-40) halftime deficit, Memphis improved to 3-2 with a win over Central Arkansas Friday night at FedExForum. For the second game in a row — both home wins for the Tigers — Landers Nolley came off the bench to lead his team in scoring, this time with 23 points. The sophomore transfer from Virginia Tech has topped 20 points in three of the Tigers' five games.
The Tigers played a sloppy first half, committing 12 fouls and 13 turnovers, enough to keep the Bears in contention in the visitors' first game of the season. But a combination of frenetic defense and efficient offense over the first 10 minutes of the second half put the Tigers comfortably ahead in the first meeting between these programs since early in the 2009-10 season.
“This game was a lot tougher than we wanted, but it’s the type of game you can use film from to show the good and the bad to the guys and grow from it,” said Tiger coach Penny Hardaway. “Every game isn’t going to be perfect or pretty. I’ll take the win for sure.”
Three Memphis starters hit double figures in the scoring column: D.J. Jeffries (15 despite fouling out), Lester Quinones (14), and Boogie Ellis (10). As a team, the Tigers shot well from the field (42 percent) and foul line (80 percent). They forced 30 Bear turnovers.
Rylan Bergersen hit four three-pointers and led UCA with 22 points.
The Tigers will play their third straight home game next Tuesday when Mississippi Valley State visits FedExForum. They only have two nonconference games remaining before American Athletic Conference play gets underway with a trip to Tulane on December 16th.