Early foul trouble costs Tigers, Wiseman in loss to Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore. — Shakur Juiston had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 14 Oregon held off No. 13 Memphis 82-74 in the inaugural Phil Knight Invitational on Tuesday night.
Payton Pritchard added 14 points and six assists as the Ducks collected their third straight win to open the season.
James Wiseman had 14 points and 12 rebounds as controversy continue to swirl around the Tigers’ 7-foot-1 freshman phenom. Memphis (2-1) was led by Lester Quinones with 16 points.
Oregon was hurt with 5:12 to go in the opening half when starter Chris Duarte had to be helped off the court with what appeared to be a knee injury. He started the second half but quickly went back to the bench.
The Ducks led by as many as 12 points in the second half but Memphis closed to within 65-61 after Quinones’ fast-break layup capped an 8-0 run. Francis Okoro answered with a layup for the Ducks.
Pritchard’s 3-pointer put Oregon up 70-63 with 4:53 left. Wiseman’s jumper got the Tigers back within four points at 71-67 but Will Richardson’s 3 extended the lead again for the Ducks.
Pritchard sunk another 3-pointer with 1:32 left that made it 77-69 and Memphis could not catch up.
Wiseman was played sparingly in the first half after collecting two quick fouls.
Memphis issued a statement on Friday saying that Wiseman, the nation’s top-rated recruit and likely a first-round NBA draft pick next year, would miss games while the university worked to restore his eligibility. But the school also said it supports Wiseman challenging the NCAA and has let him play under a temporary restraining order obtained late Friday afternoon by his attorney.
An NCAA investigation revealed that Wiseman was likely ineligible because Memphis coach Penny Hardaway, who was then coach of East High School, gave $11,500 in moving expenses to help Wiseman’s family move from Nashville to Memphis in the summer of 2017 after giving his alma mater $1 million in 2008 for a sports hall of fame.
Wiseman scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had five blocks in a 92-46 win over Illinois-Chicago that night.
The NCAA issued a statement during that game on Twitter saying, “The University of Memphis was notified that James Wiseman is likely ineligible. The university chose to play him and ultimately is responsile for ensuring its student-athletes are eligible to play.”
A court hearing in the case was scheduled for Monday.
Wiseman had 28 points and 11 rebounds in the Tigers’ 97-64 season-opening win to South Carolina State last Tuesday.
Memphis went 22-14 last season in the first year under Hardaway. The team was knocked out in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament, and lost to Creighton in the second round of the NIT.
Coming off its back-to-back wins to open the season, the Tigers moved up a spot in the AP Top 25 this week. Oregon also jumped a spot after winning its first two games against Fresno State and Boise State.
Oregon is the reigning Pac-12 champion. Last season, as the No. 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Ducks advanced to the Sweet 16 but fell to Virginia.
The Ducks saw the return of Okoro, a starting center who missed the game against Boise State after he was hit by a car while walking near the team’s arena in Eugene earlier in the week.
The Ducks went on an 11-2 run topped by Duarte’s 3-pointer and layup to take a 23-11 lead in the opening half. But Memphis closed the gap, and after Duarte was hurt the Tigers closed to within 30-29 with back-to-back baskets from Alex Lomax. Lester Quinones’ layup briefly gave Memphis the lead.
In front 41-35 at the half, Oregon held on to the lead until Quinones’ 3-pointer gave the Tigers a 49-48 lead with 15:48 left. Oregon responded with a 9-0 run to go up 57-49.
Oregon stretched the lead to 65-53 on Richardson’s free throws with less than 10 minutes left.