Memphis Tigers defeat UCF; head to semifinals against Houston

WATCH: Memphis Tigers hold post-game press conference

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - On to the next one!

Friday, the Memphis Tigers Men’s Basketball team defeated University of Central Florida 79-55 in the AAC Championship Quarterfinals.

Junior forward Isaiah Maurice performed tremendously, but it was the crowd at FedExForum that made a huge difference.

It wasn't a sellout, but you wouldn't know that by the energy they brought.

It was truly impressive for a game in the middle of a work day.

WATCH: Tyler Harris (guard) talks UCF game

“Huge for us, because our crowd understands that we need the energy,” said Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway. “They understand that the situation we’re in, and they’re going to do their part, and they’ve done their part all year of letting us know they have our backs, and they want to support us and help us win, and they’re doing that.”

WATCH: Mike Parks Jr. (forward) talks UCF game

With the win over UCF, Memphis improves to 21-12 on the season.

“Just doing whatever it takes… playing desperate,” Hardaway said. “That’s where we are right now. We know the role that we have to take, and we understand that every possession counts and we’re out there playing like it now.”

WATCH: Jeremiah Martin (guard) talks UCF game

“Isaiah [Maurice] to me is the best five, one of the best five’s in our conference,” Hardaway said. “He just hasn’t been able to get his game out.”

WATCH: Isaiah Maurice (forward) talks UCF game

“My main focus was just come in and produce,” said Tigers center Isaiah Maurice. “We played this team twice before, and my main focus was to not make the same mistakes I did. My main focus was to make shots. I know how Tacko’s gonna play me, and just maneuver off how he’s gonna play me pretty much.”

WATCH: Kyvon Davenport (forward) talks UCF game

The Tigers now advance to the semifinals against top seeded Houston on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.