MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - While everybody was putting the final touches on their Super Bowl parties, you can bet Memphis Tigers Basketball coach Penny Hardaway was in the lab trying to figure out how to keep his team from just throwing games away.
The U of M had a chance to stretch its running legs Saturday at home against a U Conn team that hadn’t won a game on the road all season.
Memphis gets out of the gate fast, alright, but too fast for its own good.
After building a 15-7 early first-half lead, the Tigers spend the rest of the frame tossing the ball to the opposition, or to no one in particular.
The Tigers had 13 first-half turnovers. It didn’t get much better in the second half as the Tigers cough it up 11 more times, many leading directly to UConn scores.
There were 24 turnovers altogether for a whopping 31 points.
Somehow, as it’s done most of the season, the Tigers defense comes through, blocking nine shots and limiting the Huskies to just 26% shooing in the second half.
Tigers outlast U Conn 70-63.
When it was all over, Tigers Head Coach Penny Hardaway said this, “Crazy game. That’s all I have to say. But, glad to get a win.”
Hardaway said, “These turnovers are disappointing. But, I am proud of the guys for playing really good defense in the second half despite the turnovers."
Sophomore Point Guard Alex Lomax said, “At the beginning of the game, we’re trying to attack, make passes, get the ball up the court. But, we’ve learned from our mistakes over these last couple of games, we always have five minute or six-minute droughts without scoring, or not doing anything and turning the ball over a lot."
The U of M will try to cut down on the turnovers when the Tigers host temple in their next game at FedEx Forum Wednesday night.