April 16, 2024

Tigers And Blazers Battle Resume Rivalry In Memphis

- Photo Credits - Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

As the Memphis men’s basketball team gears up for a pivotal clash against the UAB Blazers this Sunday, the stakes couldn’t be higher with postseason positioning on the line. The Tigers, currently seated in sixth place in the AAC standings, are eyeing a much-coveted top-four seed and the accompanying double-bye in the AAC Championship. With just two regular-season games left, every moment on the court counts.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

The FedEx Forum, with a capacity crowd of 18,400, is expected to be abuzz with anticipation and emotion as the Tigers celebrate Senior Day and their home finale. Five key seniors—Jayden Hardaway, Caleb Mills, Jahvon Quinerly, Nae’Qwan Tomlin, and David Jones—will be honored in a pregame ceremony slated for 4 p.m., acknowledging their contributions to the program before they aim to leave a lasting impression in their final home game.

Memphis (21-8, 10-6 AAC) has rediscovered its early-season form that propelled them into the top-10 national rankings, bouncing back from a January slump with a three-game win streak that included dominant 24-point victories and a win against preseason favorite Florida Atlantic. Their most recent triumph, a commanding 82-58 road win over East Carolina, was highlighted by the AAC Player of the Week Nae’Qwan Tomlin’s 20-point performance and David Jones’ 10th double-double of the season.

On the other side, the UAB Blazers (18-10, 10-5 AAC), tied for fifth with SMU, are a formidable opponent. Despite their recent home losses to Rice and Wichita State, they previously outgunned the Tigers 97-88 in their January encounter, with AAC’s leading rebounder Yaxel Lendeborg delivering a standout 23-point, 16-rebound performance. UAB’s balanced scoring attack, with four players averaging double figures, and Lendeborg’s consistent double-doubles make them a threat that cannot be overlooked.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Memphis boasts some impressive numbers that they will look to further improve upon. Jahvon Quinerly is dishing out an impressive 5.9 assists per game over the last nine, and David Jones is just 10 points shy of tying Rodney Carney for 10th place on Memphis’ single-season leaderboard for total points. The Tigers’ defensive record under Penny Hardaway speaks volumes, with a 40-3 record when holding opponents under 60 points, including 22-straight wins.

The matchup promises to be a showcase of talent and determination, with both teams knowing what’s at stake. As Memphis hopes to extend its 16-straight home winning streak against UAB, the Blazers will be looking to upset the Tigers and solidify their postseason aspirations. With the game being broadcasted on ESPN2, featuring the insightful commentary of Mike Corey and analysis by Mark Adams, fans across the nation can witness the drama unfold.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

As the clock winds down on the regular season, the showdown at FedExForum is more than just a game—it’s a moment that could define the Tigers’ path to glory. Will Memphis fend off their longtime rival and move up the AAC ladder, or will the Blazers disrupt the celebrations and come away with a critical road win? Tune in Sunday afternoon to find out.

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