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Tigers fall to SMU and Penny lets loose in post game

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 11:34 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Only eight scholarship players were available for the Memphis Tigers as the University of Memphis (UofM) took on SMU in a key American Athletic Conference matchup with the Tigers needing a quad 1 win in the worst way.

This game started off just as chilly as the temperature outside with the Tigers turning it over six times in the first four minutes against the Mustangs.

But worse than that was the Tigers’ offense. The UofM held scoreless for the first six minutes. Malcolm Dandridge finally ended the drought, getting the hoop in the paint to make it 6-2. However, the threes were not there either for Memphis. The UofM went 0-6 from beyond the arc in the first half. Luckily, SMU, a team that typically makes a bunch of threes, averaging 10 makes a game, only splashed 2 in the first as well.

But they were working down low and found their way with ease. The Ponies raced out to a 16-2 lead. Tyler Harris tried to breathe some life with 17 as Memphis cut it to 2 late in the second, but SMU pulled away to win it with the final score of 72-60.

Penny Hardaway kept things pretty plain and simple to start his postgame news conference, saying, obviously, this was the worse game they’ve played all year. The Tigers are now 9-8 and have their worst record through 17 games since the ‘04-’05 season.

Hardaway had all the pieces coming into this year with his second No. 1 recruiting class, but they’ve now dropped to below .500 in conference play. And that just brings up more questions. They are obviously shorthanded due to injuries, but when Penny was asked if he thinks he can still get the job done at Memphis, this is how he reacted.

“I think the one thing I can say to this media because this media gets kind of f----d up sometimes when it comes to me,” Hardaway said. “We don’t have our full roster. You all know we don’t have our full roster. Stop asking me stupid f---ing questions. If I feel like I can do something. If I had my roster like they did? Then, iIfeel like I can do whatever I want to do. I’m coaching really hard. My boys are playing really hard. I’m not embarrassed about nothing. We had four freshmen starting. You all need to act like it. Act like we got 17, 18, 19-year-olds out here trying to learn how to play against 22, 23, 24-year-old guys. Come on man! Stop disrespecting me bro. Like, don’t do that. I work to f-----g hard. I work way too hard for that. You all write all these f------g articles about me and all I do is work. We got young kids on the floor. They got young kids on the floor.”

This is now the Tigers’ third straight loss. They hope to avoid going to a fourth straight as they go to Tulsa Sunday for a 2 p.m. tip.

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