Kyvon Daven­port de­liv­ers

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

home against Cincin­nati where they prob­a­bly out­played them for the ma­jor­ity of that game. So their se­niors prob­a­bly were just a lot more locked in than our group that came in here with its two best play­ers in travel suits.”

The closing min­utes

Memphis al­lowed Con­necti­cut to grab four of­fen­sive re­bounds on one of­fen­sive trip with just more than a minute re­main­ing. That trip even­tu­ally led to a 3-pointer by Huskies guard Tarin Smith.

The shot cut Memphis’ lead to just four, the clos­est mar­gin in the sec­ond half of a game that the Tigers led from start to fin­ish.

Memphis se­nior Raynere Thorn­ton coun­tered with a dunk that ex­tended his team’s lead to six, and he and Jeremiah Mar­tin made four free throws in the fi­nal 30 sec­onds to put the game out of reach.

“We had to dig in and re­ally had to fight at the end,” Tigers se­nior Kyvon Daven­port said. “They made a lit­tle (run) at the end, a cou­ple re­bounds got them back go­ing. But it was good of us to slow it down and re­ally run our of­fense, get good shots and get that dunk by (Thorn­ton). Then, to start ex­e­cut­ing more at the end, be­cause it could have got­ten worse.”

Daven­port con­trib­uted his best per­for­mance in more than a month Sun­day, pour­ing in 26 points to lead all scor­ers.

Af­ter Mar­tin scored 41 and 26 in the Tigers’ pre­vi­ous two games, Har­d­away chal­lenged the other Memphis se­niors to shoul­der some of the scor­ing load. Daven­port’s 9-for-13 af­ter­noon cer­tainly ac­com­plished that, and it was also just the third time since the start of con­fer­ence play he shot bet­ter than 60 per­cent.

“Ev­ery­thing is al­ready set up for him to go out and do that,” Har­d­away said. “He just has to pro­duce.”

The high­light of the game came when Mar­tin threw an off-the-back­board al­ley-oop to Daven­port for a dunk early in the sec­ond half that put the Tigers up 14.

“I get ex­cited over plays like that,” Har­d­away said, “be­cause those are team plays . ... I al­ways talk about shar­ing the bas­ket­ball and be­ing a team player. When that hap­pens, I know it’s un­selfish and a great team play.”

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