Memphis Outlasts Harvard, 60-50
Jan. 19, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - After trailing by two with seven minutes to go, the University of Memphis men's basketball team (14-3) ended the game on a 16-4 run to surpass Harvard (9-6) and collect a 60-50 win Saturday afternoon at FedExForum for their eighth-straight victory.
Geron Johnson and Shaq Goodwin sparked Memphis in the early going as Johnson recorded the Tigers' first five points while Goodwin followed with a steal and two buckets to put Memphis up 9-2 three minutes into the game.
The Memphis defense frustrated Harvard in the opening minutes, forcing six turnovers and making the Crimson work deep into their shot clock. Both teams went without a field goal for nearly five minutes before Harvard's Christian Webster knocked down a three to make it 11-5 Memphis at the 12:33 mark.
After a strong start, the Tigers saw many of their shots roll off the rim until Tarik Black dunked a putback to end a seven and a half minute field goal drought for Memphis. Adonis Thomas followed on the next possession with a jumper to put Memphis up 15-5 with nine minutes to go.
The Memphis posts were too much for Harvard as Goodwin converted on a basket down low before Thomas grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it back in for a 19-5 advantage. D.J. Stephens got the crowd going with a monster dunk from Joe Jackson to extend the Tigers lead to 16 with seven minutes remaining.
Jackson added a trey and a fast-break layup to give Memphis a 20-point lead before Harvard ended its eight-minute field goal drought with a three from Laurent Rivard to make it 27-10 with four and a half minutes to play.
The Crimson got two quick buckets late in the half but could not pull closer than 15 as Memphis went into the half with a 32-16 lead. At the break, Goodwin led Memphis with eight points while Thomas and Johnson chipped in eight apiece. The Tigers held Harvard to 26 percent from the floor in the first half and forced 13 turnovers.
After Memphis built a 20-point lead in the first minute of the second half, the Crimson cut the Tigers lead to nine on an 11-0 run after six Memphis turnovers to being the half. Harvard cut its deficit to seven before Jackson converted a three-point play to give the Tigers a double-digit lead once again.
Harvard trimmed the Memphis lead down to seven again but dunks from Stephens and Goodwin gave the Tigers a little more cushion at 44-33 midway through the half.
The Crimson responded with an 11-0 run over the next 2:07 to knot it up at 42 and took its first lead of the game at the 7:07 mark with a dunk from Steve Moundou-Missi. However, Stephens quickly tied it back up with a putback dunk. On the other end, Stephens prevented an easy layup for Harvard with a block from behind which turned into a fast-break layup by Chris Crawford from Johnson to go up 48-46 with 6:27 to go.
Free throws from Moundou-Missi tied it back up before the Tigers went up 52-48 with baskets from Jackson and Crawford with three and a half minutes to play. Memphis pulled out of reach in the final minutes with Crawford knocking down two buckets and limiting Harvard to just one basket in the final seven minutes of play to get a 60-50 victory.
Crawford came off the bench to lead Memphis with 13 points while Jackson hit double figures for the 13th-straight game with 10 points. Goodwin added 11 points for the Tigers and Stephens also hit double digits with 10. Thomas, Goodwin and Stephens each grabbed eight rebounds to lead the team. Memphis held an advantage in second-chance points (17-4) and fast-break points (18-9), and held the nation's third-best three-point shooting team to 25 percent (4-16) from behind the arc.
Memphis will be back in action at home Tuesday with a 7 p.m. contest against Tulane at FedExForum. The game will be televised on FS South/SportSouth.