After both teams rebounded from first-round losses with sound victories in the consolation bracket, Memphis and Stanford will square off in the fifth-place game of the ESPN Events Invitational on Sunday morning in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Memphis (3-2) had a particularly heartbreaking defeat in the opening round against Seton Hall. The Tigers led for nearly all of the second half, but the Pirates clawed within two points and Memphis' Elijah McCadden missed two late free throws. Tyrese Samuel banked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in Seton Hall's 70-69 win.
Coach Penny Hardaway wanted to see how his team would respond with the next game less than 24 hours later.
"That's what these tournaments are for. That's why we're playing in them," Hardaway said after the loss. "You get a tough loss like this, man, you got to come back tomorrow. You got to hold on to the rope."
That's exactly what Memphis managed to do. The Tigers beat Nebraska 73-61 on Friday with Kendric Davis (21 points) leading four players in double figures.
Memphis shot 49.2 percent for the game and grabbed 13 steals.
Stanford (3-3) allowed 50 percent shooting in a 72-68 loss to Ole Miss in Thursday's first game. The Cardinal fared much better against Florida State on Friday in a 70-60 win. Though the Seminoles still managed to shoot 43.8 percent from the field, Stanford dominated the boards 44-26, including 16 offensive rebounds.
Stanford coach Jerod Haase said before the tournament that it's all a learning experience.
"When you're playing in the Thanksgiving tournaments, those are really fun environments as well," Haase said. "We're going to have a variety of games that prepare us for (conference play). But I think the guys are ready and excited ... but also with an understanding that it's the next step on the journey."
Four different players have led Stanford in scoring in a game this season. Michael Jones (12.0 points per game) is the leading scorer, while NBA prospect Harrison Ingram averages 10.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
Davis paces Memphis with 20.6 points per game. DeAndre Williams is adding 13.2 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per contest.
--Field Level Media
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