DeAndre Williams had 16 factors and 10 rebounds, and No. 9 Memphis outlasted Virginia Tech 69-61 within the NIT Season Tip-Off on Wednesday evening.

Emoni Bates added 9 factors, all within the second half, making 4 free throws within the last minute for Memphis (5-0).

“I love my team,” coach Penny Hardaway mentioned. “I love what we bring to the table. We can win any kind of game — an ugly game, a good game, and still be right there because of our defense.

“I’m proud.”

Nahiem Alleyne scored 21 points and Keve Aluma added 14 for Virginia Tech (5-1).

While Memphis led for most of the game, the Tigers couldn’t put the Hokies away, and Alleyne made a 3-pointer with 4:36 left to give Virginia Tech a 56-55 edge.

“We simply saved combating,” Alleyne said. “We need to proceed to struggle each time.”

Following a timeout, Landers Nolley II buried a 3 for Memphis, Bates made a free throw, and Jalen Duren’s layup made it 61-56 with 1:34 left. Memphis then put the game away at the free-throw line.

The Tigers went 7:24 without a field goal in the first half and were carried by their reserves, who scored 19 points in the opening half. Memphis led 33-30 at halftime after Malcolm Dandridge had a buzzer-beating two-handed jam.

“It’s this chemistry with me and Malcolm,” said Alex Lomax, who fed Dandridge for the dunk with a spectacular pass. “We’ve been enjoying collectively for some time. I knew it was me and him in a two-man recreation from the soar. Once I obtained the steal I knew he was going to run with me. So I’ve to facilitate and simply be aggressive. And it labored out.”


Memphis: It was a night to forget for Duren, the Tigers’ star freshman big man. Duren entered the game averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks. He was scoreless in the first half and finished with six points and seven rebounds.

“He’s nonetheless determining his spots on the ground,” Hardaway said of Duren, who turned 18 on Nov. 18. “We’re solely going to get higher as he will get higher. He had a monster recreation (in) the final recreation. This recreation, he did the suitable issues. He’s going to make little errors as a result of he does not perceive and (the) expertise is not there however he is gaining expertise each recreation.”

Virginia Tech: The Hokies had won their first five games by an average of 28 points and were challenged for the first time this season.

“Usually (we) have a significantly better rhythm. Usually we get some issues — and we had cracks at it — across the rim,” coach Mike Young said. “That was the primary time we weren’t fairly ourselves offensively. Again, Memphis had lots to do with that.”


Memphis meets Iowa State within the championship recreation on Friday, whereas Virginia Tech takes on No. 25 Xavier within the comfort recreation.