ORLANDO, Fla. – Freshman Tyler Harris scored a career-high 25 points and senior guard Jeremiah Harris became the 52nd member of the program’s 1,000-point club, but their efforts weren’t enough Sunday night for the University of Memphis.
In the fifth-place game of the AdvoCare Invitational at HP Field House, the Tigers (3-3) dropped a 78-75 decision to the College of Charleston. The Cougars (5-2) were led by guard Grant Riller, who scored a game-high 32 points, and guard Jarrell Brantley, who finished with 19.
Memphis outshot and outrebounded the Cougars, but Charleston was able to get to the free throw line more where it make 17 of 21. Memphis was 8 of 14.
After the game, Tiger coach Penny Hardaway was disappointed, but said it was only a loss if his team didn’t learn from it. Memphis went 1-2 in Orlando, dropping its opener to Oklahoma State and defeating Canisius in the consolation bracket.
“We’re in games, we just have to learn to finish,” Hardaway said. “But they made baskets when they needed to make baskets.”
Memphis led by two at the half, but the teams battled back and forth in the second half. Although the Tigers trailed by four (72-68) with 3:34 to go, they battled back and led by one (73-72) after freshman Antwann Jones, an Orlando native, completed a three-point play. He scored on a leaner in the lane and dropped in the free throw.y
Two minutes later, Martin scored on a backdoor layup to get to 1,001 career points and give the Tigers their last lead at 75-74.
But Charleston kept battling behind Riller and Brantley, who scored the Cougars’ final 18 points. Riller and Brantley made two free throws each in the final minute and a last-second Harris 3-pointer was off the mark to give the Cougars the win.
“We’ve just got to come together as a team,” said Harris, whose previous career-high was 22 at home against Yale. “We’ve got to learn together as a family and learn to finish.”
In the first half, both teams were torrid from beyond the arc. Charleston entered the game shooting 24.4 percent from 3-point range, but made 9 of 13 (69.2 percent). The Tigers made 6 of 12.
Memphis led, 42-40, benefiting from 51.6 shooting and 16 points from Harris. Harris made four of his six 3-pointers.
The Tigers built an early 10-point lead, but was unable to maintain it as the Cougars consistently hit from long range. Trailing 36-26 with five minutes left in the half, the Cougars got a trio of 3-pointers from Brevin Galloway in those final five minutes to trim the Memphis lead to two.
Riller and Galloway each made five 3-pointers in the first half and had 15 points each at the break.
Memphis returns to action next weekend by playing Texas Tech in Miami.
Tiger guard Jeremiah Martin entered the game needing 10 points to become the 52nd player in school history to reach 1,000 points in career. He surpassed the 1,000 mark with 1:02 left when Kyvon Davenport fed him for a backdoor layup.
Tyler Harris tied his career high of 22 points early in the second half with a banked 3-pointer that gave Memphis a 48-46 lead.
Harris was 7-of-11 from beyond the arc. The seven 3s tied the freshman record.
Charleston’s season-high single-game 3-point total was seven. The Cougars had nine at the half and 11 for the game.