Penny Hardaway fumes that Tennessee ‘ran over to fight’ in late-game technical situation

MEMPHIS – The chippy nature of Tennessee and Memphis reached a boiling point late in Tennessee's 102-92 win Saturday at FedExForum.

With less than 50 seconds to play, three players — two for Memphis, one for Tennessee — were assessed technical fouls after they exchanged words, and Memphis coach Penny Hardaway was visibly annoyed that more focus was placed on his team than the Vols.

Hardaway, who had an extended talk with the referees after the whistles, said he was bothered by how Tennessee players came toward the Memphis huddle.

“I said the entire Tennessee team ran over to fight,” Hardaway said. “Their entire team emptied the bench to run over. They didn’t come over because it was a timeout.

"You could visibly see guys with their fists balled, talking trash to our guys. It was almost like a standoff. I was asking the referee why they were able to come across the line into our area and not get a technical.”

Hardaway said the explanation he received was that the Vols could come off a bench during a timeout. He was not given a reason why Tennessee could leave its bench area without being assessed a technical, however.

The kerfuffle began with words exchanged between Tennessee guard Jordan Bone and Memphis guard Alex Lomax after the Tigers freshman scored.

Bone and UT guard Jordan Bowden indicated the first words came from Lomax.

“I heard him say something,” Bone said. “I retaliated. I shouldn’t have. We were winning the game. We were supposed to walk out of here with class. I allowed that to get to me."

Hardaway offered a different account.

“Alex is a kid that is not going to talk trash,” Hardaway said. “Obviously, Jordan Bone said something to him disrespectfully. He protected himself by saying something back.”

Bone, Lomax and Memphis’ Jeremiah Martin all received technical fouls with 47.8 seconds to play. Bone made a pair of free throws.

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