Boogie Ellis led the way for Memphis with a career-best performance to hand the Tigers a 73-56 win over Saint Mary’s in the opening game of the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Though it took Penny Hardaway’s team a few minutes to put its first points on the board, the Tigers roared back and took advantage of a scattered Gaels group to welcome in the season.
Ellis’ efficient 24 points off the bench proved to be too much for Saint Mary’s to handle. The sophomore guard logged a career-high in scoring, tallying 20 in the first half, including this heave at the buzzer.
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant chimed in on Ellis’ opening day fireworks after the sophomore hit six of his seven attempts from deep and also chipped in two assists and a steal.
Ellis also provided this highlight, a pinpointed lob to 5-star freshman Moussa Cisse, who logged 10 points and seven rebounds in his college debut.
Saint Mary’s, which ranked 339th in the nation last season in tempo, was oftentimes sped up and frustrated by Memphis’ pesky defense. The Gaels finished 33.9 percent from the field, including 1-of-18 from 3-point range with 13 turnovers.
Following the impressive performance, the Tigers will turn their attention to the winner of Northern Iowa and Western Kentucky on Thursday.