Penny Hardaway rips Tennessee players after loss to Vols, blames them for late-game scuffle
The Tennessee Volunteers went into Memphis on Saturday afternoon and beat the Tigers 102-92 in the thrilling reactivation of the rivalry game.
After the game, coaches Rick Barnes and Penny Hardaway had one of the iciest postgame handshakes you’ll ever see. The fireworks continued after the game, with Hardaway blaming Tennessee players for a late-game scuffle.
As you can see below, Hardaway said Tennessee players came over to the Memphis bench ready to fight (via ESPN.com):
“I said [to referees], ‘The entire Tennessee team ran over to fight,'” said Hardaway, the former NBA All-Star who is in his first year as Memphis coach. “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.”
The rivalry game was intense, and it should continue to be — the two squads meet in Knoxville next year and in Nashville the year after that.
It’s clear there’s no love lost between Hardaway and Barnes, so this should continue to be a tough, physical game moving forward.