Trojans come up short at Memphis
– Little Rock gave Memphis everything it could handle, leading for nearly 32 minutes of the game and by as many as 14. But the Trojans couldn’t survive a late Tiger charge, dropping a 70-62 decision to Memphis at the FedEx Forum.
Two players that registered their first career starts had strong showings for the Trojans as freshman Jaizec Lottie lead Little Rock in both points (12) and assists (four) with junior Camron Reedus adding 11 points and a pair of assists.
Junior Anthony Black was the third Trojan to finish in double digits, posting a career-best 10 points, with senior Wadly Mompremier finishing with seven points, seven rebounds and five blocks in 24 minutes for Little Rock.
Little Rock shot 44.2 percent for the game while holding Memphis to 41.8 percent from the floor, and were efficient from the free throw line, hitting nine of 12 attempts. Three point shooting once again hurt the Trojans, hitting just seven of 23 attempts, but Little Rock outrebounded Memphis 31-28 and once again held an advantage in the paint, besting the Tigers 30-28.
The opening 12 minutes couldn’t have been scripted better for Little Rock as the Trojans built a 21-7 lead on the host Tigers. Little Rock hit eight of its first 11 shots and forced seven Memphis turnovers, leading from the opening basket of the game.
A 10-2 run by Memphis cut the Little Rock lead to 23-17 and the Trojans and Tigers, aided by offensive fouls on three-straight Little Rock possessions. The two teams exchanged blows over the final six minutes with the Trojans taking a 32-27 lead into the intermission.
Memphis made a run early in the second half, cutting the deficit to one on multiple occasions, but key shots from the Trojans kept Little Rock in the lead through the opening 13 minutes of the second half. Leading 51-48 with 7:47 to play, a power surge in the Forum wiped out press row, forcing an extended delay to get everything up and running.
The delay proved to swing momentum in Memphis’ favor as the Tigers outscored the Trojans 13-2 over the next four minutes, taking their first lead of the game as Little Rock went over three minutes without a basket. A three from Anthony Black at the 2:47 mark cut the Memphis lead to 61-56, but the upset attempt came up short as the Trojans dropped the 70-62 decision.
Junior Oliver Black and sophomore Andre Jones each added six points and combined for 13 rebounds (seven for Black and six for Jones).
The game marked the closest contest between the two schools in the six-game series, tying the eight-point deficit in 2008 when the Trojans fell 59-51.
Little Rock’s road doesn’t get any easier as the Trojans head west to continue their three-game road swing. The first stop is in Phoenix, Arizona, for a date with Grand Canyon on Saturday, November 18. Opening tip against the Lopes is set for 8 p.m. CT from Grand Canyon Arena.