Tigers rally from halftime deficit to knock off Central Arkansas 85-68

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FILE – In this Feb. 7. 2019, file photo, Memphis coach Penny Hardaway reacts during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Cincinnati in Memphis, Tenn. Hardaway went 22-14 and led the Tigers to an NIT berth in his debut season, but his biggest wins came off the court and on the recruiting trail. Memphis is ranked 14th to start the season and is expected to contend for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2014. Memphis has the highest preseason ranking of any team that failed to reach the NCAA Tournament last season. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)

MEMPHIS — For a second straight game, Landers Nolley came off the bench for the Tigers.

And for a second straight game, Nolley scored a game high 23 points as the U of M improved to 2-and-0 on the home floor, rallying from a 42-40 halftime deficit to beat Central Arkansas 85-68.

Nolley led four Tigers in double figures as D.J. Jeffries scored 15, Lester Quinones had 14 and Boogie Ellis added 10.

“Game was a lot tougher than what we wanted but it’s the type of game you can use film footage of, to show to the guys. Good and bad and grow from it,” said Tigers coach Penny Hardaway. “Every game isn’t going to be perfect or pretty. I’ll take the win for sure.”

The Tigers also forced the Bears, who were playing their first game of the season, into 30 turnovers.  Problem is, the U of M also turned it over 20 times.

“Our guys, when they look at a game like this, Central Arkansas, they’re thinking it’s just going to be easy because of the name. They had no respect for those guys,” Hardaway said. “Those guys came out and jumped on them. I wasn’t really worried. I figured that we would figure it out. I knew that we would figure it out and once we figured it out, things started happening better for us.”

The Tigers(3-2) close out this three game homestand on Tuesday when they play host to Mississippi Valley State.

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