Tiger rally comes up short in tough loss to Louisville

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Jeremiah Martin #3 of the Memphis Tigers reaches for the ball against Malik Williams #5 of the Louisville Cardinals in the second half during their Gotham Classic game at Madison Square Garden on December 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – Quentin Snider led four players in double-figure scoring with 19 points to lead Louisville to an 81-72 win over Memphis in the showcase game of the Gotham Classic on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Louisville improved to 8-2 with its fourth straight win. V.J. King finished with 17 points for the Cardinals, Deng Adel added 15 and Ray Spalding 12.

Memphis saw its four game-winning streak end. The Tigers fell to 7-3 overall, and 36-54 all-time against Louisville. Jeremiah Martin tied a career high with 26 points, and Kyvon Davenport had 12.

Tied 38-all at halftime, Louisville outscored Memphis 17-4 in the first 5:30 of the second half to take a 55-42 lead. The key to the spurt was 3-point shooting with Adel knocking down two from behind the arc and Snider one.

The Cardinals’ defense aided their cause. Louisville entered the game second nationally in blocked shots (7.9), ninth in field goals allowed (.367), 36th in 3-point field goals allowed (.293) and 44th in points allowed (64.3) per game. Louisville forced 12 turnovers and blocked 14 shots, while limiting the Tigers to 4-of-11 shooting from 3.

As well as Louisville played, though, the Tigers fought back, using a 13-5 spurt spanning 4:53 to cut a 58-46 deficit to 63-59. Martin scored seven of his 26 in that run.

Memphis didn’t get closer as Louisville responded with a 9-0 run of its own to extend its lead to 72-59.