Memphis Cruises to 77-51 Win Over Rice
Jan. 16, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Memphis men's basketball team (13-3, 3-0 C-USA) scored 46 points and shot 68 percent in the second half to break away from the Rice Owls (3-13, 0-3 C-USA) on Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston.
Both teams were cold from the floor early as D.J. Stephens' dunk was the first field goal of the game at the 17:07 mark to put Memphis up 2-1.
Trailing 5-4, a Joe Jackson three began an 8-0 Memphis run over a four-minute stretch. Another dunk from Stephens followed by a three-point play from Tarik Black put Memphis up 12-5 with 13 minutes to play.
The Owls cut the Memphis lead down to just two with a trey from Max Guercy following three-straight missed shots and a turnover by the Tigers. After Memphis took an 18-12 lead, Austin Ramljak knocked down two consecutive threes to knot it at 18. The Owls regained the lead with two free throws from Tamir Jackson to go up 20-18 with five minutes to go in the half.
Memphis' free throw shooting hurt them early in the first half before Antonio Barton and Jackson got the Tigers going with six-straight from the charity stripe to give Memphis a 25-20 advantage with under four minutes to go.
Rice cut their deficit down to 27-24 before Barton hit a three and added a free throw to give the Tigers a 31-24 lead at the half. Barton led Memphis in scoring at the break with eight points while Jackson added seven points and tied a career-high six rebounds.
In the second half, Stephens made a statement with a one-handed dunk after a missed shot before back-to-back threes from Barton and Adonis Thomas gave Memphis an 11-point lead three and a half minutes into the half. Memphis continued to increase its lead with a basket from long range by Geron Johnson to give the Tigers a 50-35 lead with 13 minutes left.
The Memphis offense stayed hot throughout the second half as Black had a couple of baskets down low for the Tigers while Thomas and Jackson also contributed well for Memphis to help build a 67-42 lead with five minutes to go.
The Tigers' defense caused problems for Rice in the second period, going almost five minutes without a field goal. In the final minutes, the Owls put together one last run to get within 17, but Memphis responded with two free throws from Jackson and a bucket from Johnson to go back up 21 with two minutes remaining.
Memphis got its largest lead of the game with a fastbreak dunk from Johnson in the final seconds to give the Tigers a 77-51 win.
Barton and Jackson led the team with 13 points apiece while Thomas (12), Black (12) and Goodwin (10) also notched double figures. Jackson also had a career-high 12 rebounds for his first career double-double.
The Tigers held Rice to 31 percent shooting and outrebounded the Owls 41-20 and held a 30-14 advantage in the paint.
Memphis returns home Saturday to face Harvard in an 11:30 a.m. (CT) contest at FedExForum. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Network.