July 18, 2024

 Memphis Tigers’ Regular Season Ends in Defeat Despite Tomlin’s Heroics

- Photo Credits - Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography
– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

 Memphis Tigers’ Regular Season Ends in Defeat Despite Tomlin’s Heroics

In a high-scoring affair at Boca Raton, the Memphis Tigers succumbed to a potent Florida Atlantic squad, despite a standout performance from Nae’Qwan Tomlin, who poured in 27 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers. The 92-84 loss on Saturday afternoon diminishes the Tigers’ momentum as they prepare for the upcoming American Athletic Championship in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Tigers, who will take either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed depending on Sunday’s UAB-SMU game outcome, showed promise early on, leading for the first 13 minutes. The offensive surge was highlighted by the sharpshooting of Jayden Hardaway and David Jones, whose combined efforts from beyond the arc had Memphis ahead by as many as six points.

However, the tides turned when FAU’s Vlad Goldin took control of the paint. Scoring 15 of his 21 points before halftime, Goldin was instrumental in flipping the script and guiding the Owls to a 41-35 lead at the intermission.

Memphis threatened in the second half, closing the gap to three points, but FAU’s 12-3 run expanded their lead to 14 with just six minutes remaining on the clock. Although Memphis narrowed the deficit to six points several times, the Owls held firm, never allowing the Tigers to mount a successful comeback.

Goldin’s double-double and Bryan Greenlee‘s 21 points spearheaded FAU’s balanced attack. For Memphis, the loss was mitigated by several bright spots, including the solid performance of their starting lineup, which had previously boasted a 5-1 record. Shooting 47 percent from the field and an impressive 50 percent from three-point range, Memphis showcased its offensive capabilities, hinting at the potential for a deep run in the AAC Championship.

Tomlin, a Harlem native, was the highlight for Memphis, hitting an efficient 11-of-15 from the field and grabbing seven rebounds in 36 minutes. His scoring streak continues, marking his fourth consecutive game with 20 or more points.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Meanwhile, David Jones contributed a team-high eight rebounds to go with his 16 points, and Jahvon Quinerly matched Jones’ scoring output, all coming in the second half.

Despite the offensive production, Memphis was outmatched inside, with FAU outscoring them 46-24 in the paint and capitalizing on turnovers for a 16-9 advantage in points.

The Memphis Tigers will regroup and focus on the AAC Championship, where they must win four games in as many days to defend their title. The Tigers’ resilience and ability to learn from their season-ending loss will be crucial as they pursue another conference championship. Memphis will play on day two, Thursday, against the winner of Wichita State and Rice which will be played on Wednesday. 

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