No. 18 Memphis Falls to Cincinnati 69-53 in Conference Home Opener
Jan. 4, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The No. 18 University of Memphis men's basketball team (10-3, 1-1 American) was held to 33 percent from the field and was outscored 30-14 over the final 12:34 as the Tigers fell 69-53 to Cincinnati (13-2, 2-0 American), ending a 27-game conference winning streak Saturday afternoon.
Joe Jackson led the Tigers with 13 points while Michael Dixon Jr. added 12. Cincinnati held Memphis to 12 percent (2-17) from behind the arc and owned a 10-4 advantage in blocks. Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats with 18 points while Justin Jackson (13) and Shaquille Thomas (10) also notched double figures.
Defense proved to be dominant in the opening minutes of the game as the Bearcats were held to 16 percent in the first six minutes of play, while the Tigers shot 50 percent from the floor to take an 8-4 lead.
Pellom scored the next two baskets for Memphis, but the Bearcats were hot from behind the arc to keep it tied at 14 with 8:35 to go in the half. Dixon Jr.'s three-pointer began a 7-0 Memphis run to push the Tigers lead to 21-14 with six minutes left in the period.
Cincinnati began to cut down its deficit with a three-point play from Kilpatrick and a layup from Troy Caupain to bring the Bearcats within 21-19 at the 4:38 mark. Jackson ended the Cincinnati spurt with a three-point play of his own to extend the Memphis lead back to five.
The Bearcats ended the half on a 6-0 run capped off by a layup from Kevin Johnson to take its first lead of the game with a 27-26 advantage at the half. At the break, Memphis outshot Cincinnati from the floor with a 46 percentage compared to the Bearcats' 33 percent. However, Cincinnati had a 10-0 advantage in second chance points in part to a 9-2 lead in offensive boards.
The Tigers grabbed a two-point lead early in the second half following a Pellom layup but the Bearcats responded with a 5-0 run to take a 34-31 lead three minutes into the period. Geron Johnson and Crawford forced back-to-back turnovers on the Bearcats for two layups to help Memphis go on top 35-34 with 15:54 to play.
Over a span of 3:20, Memphis went without a field goal before Crawford connected from long range to tie the game up at 39-all with 12:34 remaining on the clock. Cincinnati answered with a 9-1 run, thanks to a three-pointer from Caupain and three-point plays from Jackson and Thomas to take a 48-40 lead midway through the second half.
The Bearcats stretched their lead to double digits at 10 before Johnson slammed down a putback dunk to bring the Memphis deficit down to 54-47 with 6:33 to play. Cincinnati continued to extend its lead over the final minutes, holding an 18-point advantage with 1:12 on the clock before claiming a 69-53 decision over Memphis.
The Tigers will travel to Louisville on Thursday to take on the No. 14/10 Cardinals. The game is slated for 6 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on ESPN.