ORLANDO – Four players scored in double figures and Memphis forced a season-high in turnovers as the Tigers bounced back with a 73-61 victory over Nebraska Friday evening in the ESPN Events Invitational.
Kendric Davis led the way with a game-high 21 points, seven assists and three steals in 37 minutes, while DeAndre Williams found his groove behind 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Alex Lomax had a vintage performance with a season-high 13 points, five rebounds, four steals and three dimes. On his final theft of the night at the 12:32 mark of the second half, Lomax etched his name into the Memphis record book with steal No. 175 for his career, moving him into 10th all-time with Cedric Henderson (’93-97).
Keonte Kennedy shot 4-of-8 from the floor, including a pair of triples, to give him 10 points in 19 minutes.
After a slow start to the game that saw a 2-2 score five minutes into the action, the Tigers got back-to-back buckets from Davis on the front end and a pair of three-pointers from Jayden Hardaway on the backend to spark a 12-2 run and put Memphis in front 14-4 at the under-12 timeout.
Nebraska never back down and eventually pulled the game even on a trey from Juwan Gary, but Kennedy found the net in the final seconds of the first half to send the Tigers into the locker room with a 33-30 lead.
Memphis shot 48 percent in the first 20 minutes (14-29) and made 5-of-12 from long distance, while holding Nebraska to a 41-percent mark.
The gritty Tiger defense set the tone early in the second period, forcing five turnovers in the first four minutes as part of a 9-2 run to turn their lead into a 10-point advantage at 42-32.
Nebraska tried to cut into the lead and pulled to within 47-42 with 13:30 remaining, but it was all Tigers from that point on.
Lomax was key down the stretch, scoring six of his 13 points in the midst of a 12-2 run that saw him hold his pose on a corner three to get the roll before his record-setting steal and score on the next possession pushed the lead back to double digits.
Davis scored six of the next nine points before Williams converted from the paint to get the largest lead of the night at 71-55 with 3:15 on the clock. The Cornhuskers could never get any closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
- Memphis finished the night 49.2 percent from the floor (29-59) and 40.9 percent from long range (9-22). The nine threes matched a season high for the Tigers.
- The defense held Nebraska to 43 percent shooting (22-51) and outscored the Huskers 14-5 on the fast break.
- Memphis’ defense forced a season best 20 miscues and outscored Nebraska 19-9 off turnovers.
- The squad swiped a season high 13 steals with four players recording two or more.
- The Tigers also outscored the Huskers 32-22 in the paint.
- Friday’s game marked the first time this season four Tigers reached double figures in the same game.
- Jayden Hardaway scored a season high nine points after connecting on 3-of-5 from deep.
- Malcolm Dandridge continues to stack impressive performances with four rebounds and a team-high three blocks on the defensive end.
- The 29 field goals made were a season high for the Tigers.
- Memphis totaled 17 assists to 13 turnovers.
- Emmanuel Bandoumel led the Huskers with 18 points, five rebounds and five dimes.
- Derrick Walker grabbed a double-double in his return to the floor with 15 points and 12 rebounds, but the Tigers forced the big man into nine turnovers.
Memphis will wrap up play at Disney World on Sunday as they will battle for third-place in the invitational against Stanford, who defeated Florida State 70-60 earlier in the day. The game is scheduled for a 10 a.m. CT tip on ESPNU.