BROOKLYN — DeAndre Williams scored a team high 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds to help offset an off night from both of the Tigers prized freshman as 9th-ranked Memphis got its biggest win of the year, 69-61 over Virginia Tech in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Saddled with foul trouble in the first half, both Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren went to the lockers, scoreless. But in the second half, both took turns keeping the Hokies at bay.
Bates and Duren scored just 15 points combined but Bates hit some clutch free throws down the stretch to move Memphis to 5-0 on the season.
Malcolm Dandridge had eight points and eight rebounds and Earl Timberlake finished with six points, three rebounds and 2 assists as the Tigers bench came up big with all the early foul trouble. A Dandridge dunk at the first half buzzer gave the U of M a 33-30 lead.
The Tigers will play Iowa State in Friday’s final after the Cyclones surprised #25 Xavier in the other semfinal, 82-70.