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Grizzlies fall to 76ers

Grizz1-600Zach Randolph grabbed an offensive rebound and was shoved. The ball left his hands and went out of bounds. Randolph shook his head in frustration.

It was just that kind of night.

On Wednesday (Dec 26), the Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Philadelphia 76ers (99-89) at the FedExForum in front of 16,055 fans.

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Grizz add ‘ice’ to Mayo’s return visit

Grizz-1-600O.J. Mayo received a warm welcome from Grizz fans when he walked onto the floor of the FedExForum for the first time since he signed with the Dallas Mavericks. Some even gave him a standing ovation.

His former teammates greeted him with handshakes and a few hugs here and there before the game (Dec. 21). Although his welcome was hearty, his time on the floor was ice cold. And Grizz guard Tony Allen led the charge.

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Cliff Brown: A Notre Dame pioneer

Cliff-Brown-200SOUTH BEND, Ind. – On Jan. 7, sophomore Everett Golson will attempt to tie a Notre Dame record by winning his first 11 starts as the Fighting Irish quarterback (originally set by Bob Williams from 1949-50).

Maybe the most refreshing aspect of this potential milestone is Golson is known as a quarterback – not "a black quarterback."

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Grizz ‘D’ tough on the Bucks

Grizz-steal-400The Memphis Grizzlies improved their record to 17-6 on Wednesday night, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 90 to 80 at the FedExForum during a nationally televised game.

Defense once again was the key to victory.

"The last two-and-a-half games, our focus, our intensity and intelligence on defense... we've helped, we've switched, and we've done all the things it takes to be a good defensive team," said Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins.

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Grizz push past Bulls’ tough ‘D’

Grizz-Mike-scores-384Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins sat at the podium late Monday night during his post-game conference and explained that his team's bumpy first half and the low scoring was due to defense.

"I said it before the game it was going to be a slugfest between two pretty good defensive teams," Hollins said. "They don't take a possession off on defense, you have to go and earn everything you get against them and we did."

The "they" were the Chicago Bulls, who were in town minus their star player and University of Memphis, standout Derrick Rose. The NBA's former MVP is recovering from knee surgery.

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Fired-up Tigers fizzle against Louisville

memphis_game_action.jpgRivalry games always bring the best out of teams. Rankings mean little to nothing when familiar foes take the court. And when No. 6-ranked Louisville flew into the Bluff City this past Saturday (Dec. 15), the Cardinals had to expect the unranked Memphis Tigers' best effort.

The Tigers-Cardinals rivalry dates back to before the 1960's and the two schools renewed their intense competitions last year. Memphis traveled to Kentucky last year, so the Cardinals had to come to the FedExForum this season.

When all the yelling, screaming and groaning was done, Louisville had prevailed 87 to 78. If there was any doubt that this match-up had retained its intensity, the over 18,000 fans that showed up for the game made it clear that these two teams still have a healthy disdain for each other.

penny_memphis.jpg

Right from the tip-off, the FedExForum was rocking and it was obvious that the Tigers were feeling the energy in the arena. The Tigers ran out to a 25- 9 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game and looked the best they have all year.

The Cardinals would rally slightly, due to a heavy amount of fouls committed by Memphis (on some questionable calls). Yet, the Tigers would still take a 35-28 lead into half time.

Memphis roared into the second half with the same fervor and expanded its lead to ten points. Then in a period of about 90 seconds, Louisville converted back-to-back-to-back three pointers and the Tigers' double-digit lead had vaporized.

With about 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Cardinals took their first lead game since the first couple minutes of the first half. Memphis never got it back.

The last three minutes were highly unexciting as the Tigers were forced to foul every possession and hope that Louisville didn't sink their free throws. Louisville didn't cooperate.

The Cardinals improved to 9-1 and the Tigers fell to 6-3 on the year. Although Memphis looked as impressive as the team has in any game this season, Louisville was just a little too much for coach Josh Pastner and his Tigers to handle.

Under Pastner, Memphis has yet to defeat a top-25 team. And unfortunately, this might have been the last chance for Pastner to reach that milestone during the Tigers' regular season schedule.

And the bad news doesn't stop there. Over the weekend, the seven catholic basketball-only schools (Georgetown, Marquette, St. John's, Villanova, DePaul, Providence and Seton Hall) in the Big East have voted to leave the conference.

The Tigers, however, aren't worried about conference realignment.

"The next game is always the most important" said Pastner.

Memphis will host David Lipscomb on Thursday (Dec. 20). This shouldn't be a tough test for the Tigers. The real story will be whether Memphis can replicate the energy it brought into the Louisville game after such a devastating loss. Or will the Tigers struggle and play down to their opponents.

Photos: Adonis Thomas of the Memphis Tigers battles Montrezl Harrell (left) of Louisville and Zach Price for a loose ball. (Photo by Warren Roseborough)

Former Tigers star (and NBA stalwart) Penny Hardaway (center) and other fans flashed looks of disappointment as Memphis' lead slipped away. (Photo by Warren Roseborough)

Grizzlies fall to Hawks and multiple factors

It's safe to say that it was not the general consensus that the Memphis Grizzlies (14-4) would go the rest of the 82-game season without losing another game.

Saturday (Dec. 8) proved that the early season is still early, and that the Grizzlies are going to have times when they just fall short.

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Loss to Illinois is fourth straight for U of M women

ladytigers-600The University of Memphis women's basketball team (3-5) has been looking for a win after starting the season off strong.

Sunday (Dec. 9) was not the day.

The Tigers fell to Illinois (5-4) 73-65 at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Though the final points and the stat of four straight losses may not show it, the team has shown some improvement since losing two key players to injuries.

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Tracking the Tigers

Tigers-TB-8075-600The True Blue Nation of the University of Memphis got what it came for as the Tigers' dominated the Austin Peay Governors on the way to the U of M's 150th victory since play began at the FedExForum.

Over 15,000 fans gathered last Saturday as the Tigers took on the in-state opponent Austin Peay.

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Still mocking Serena?

wozniacki-600Well, this was awkward.

At a recent exhibition match in Sao Paulo, 22-year-old Caroline Wozniack stuffed her tennis outfit with padding in what many are interpreting as an imitation of Serena Williams' body, and "made many in the audience laugh as she swung her tennis racket while displaying her fake assets," News One reports.

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Titans tap ‘Coach of the Year’

Champs-39-600The Tennessee Titans have named Rodney Saulsberry, head football coach of Whitehaven High School, the 2012 Titans High School Football Coach of the Year.

In a rematch of last year's state final, the Whitehaven Tigers defeated the Maryville Rebels 36-35, ending the Rebels' 43-game win streak and capturing their first-ever state championship.

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Tigers adjusting to weight of heavy basketball ‘crown’

6nugeronDSC 2000-600Basketball is "King" in the city of Memphis. And heavy lies the crown.

When the undefeated University of Memphis Tigers (2-0) headed to the Bahamas to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis during the Thanksgiving holiday, not only were the hopes high, so were the expectations.

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Friday Fights!: An idea with punch

Fight-ouch-600Friday night (Nov. 30) was a great night for boxing fans in Memphis!

The return of Friday Fights to the city came with a great card of boxing matches flush with all the requisite elements of big time boxing – beautiful ring girls (local models), a dynamic announcer (Leon Gray), a raucous crowd and celebrities (local and national). And all at a phenomenal under-appreciated venue!

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