MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – The No. 23 Memphis Tigers defeated the No. 22 Virginia Cavaliers 77-54 for their fourth straight win.
The win pushes the Tigers’ record to 9-2 and the win marks their fourth victory against a top-25 opponent.
David Jones led all scorers with 26 points and Caleb Mills followed up with 11 points.
Malcolm Dandridge cleaned the glass with eight rebounds.
Virginia never saw the lead in the game as Memphis forced 18 turnovers and held the Cavaliers to 21 percent from three and 39 percent from the field.
“This win was big because it was against Virginia basketball,” said Penny Hardaway. “The energy is back in the city. The energy is back in the building. It feels good to know that Memphis basketball has the potential to do something special.”
Memphis got off to a hot start in the first four minutes as Ashton Hardaway knocked down a three to cap off a 13-1 run to force a Virginia timeout.
Virginia brought the game back within reach as it was a 1-point game with under three minutes remaining in the first half.
The Tigers stormed to push the lead to 6, including a collective defensive stop to end the half with momentum.
Memphis led 38-32 at halftime, thanks to a strong 16 points from David Jones.
“It’s a true blessing to have David Jones,” said Penny Hardaway.
The second half was very close in the first seven minutes until Memphis took complete control of the game.
The Tigers sparked a 13-2 run to take a 65-44 lead, headlined by turnovers and fast-break points including a crowd-soaring dunk by Jahylon Young.
Memphis pushed their lead to as much as 25 points and finished with the 23-point victory.
It was a good day as Memphis learned before the game that Kansas State transfer Nae’Qwan Tomlin is officially signed to the team.
Head coach Penny Hardaway said, “If he’s eligible to play, he will instantly play. He can guard all positions, he’s a phenomenal rebounder and a great rim protector.”
“We’re blessed to have him,” said Malcolm Dandridge.
The No. 23-ranked Tigers will be hopeful that Tomlin becomes eligible soon as they rest and stay home for Saturday’s game versus Vanderbilt.