Black's 11-point, 13-Rebound Performance Leads Memphis Past SMU, 63-45
Jan. 21, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis' defense took control of the game in the second half, holding SMU scoreless for nearly nine minutes, and the Tigers put away the Mustangs, 63-45. Will Barton led the Tigers with 24 points, the 10th time this season he scored 20 or more points, and Tarik Black posted the third double-double of his career with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
Memphis (13-6, 4-1 C-USA) trailed SMU (10-9, 2-3 C-USA), 35-36, with 13:30 left in the game, when the Tigers' defense stiffened and held the Mustangs scoreless for the next 8:57. Over the same stretch, the U of M dropped in 13 points to assume control of the game.
Several Mustang turnovers in the last four minutes of play were converted into fast break dunks to seal the victory for the Tigers. Wesley Witherspoon added six points and seven rebounds and Chris Crawford dished out a team-high four assists.
The Tigers finished the game 23-for-54 (42.6 percent) from the field, while holding the Mustangs to 15-for-46 (32.6 percent) shooting. Memphis controlled the points in the paint (38-14), points off turnovers (19-10), second-chance points (14-7) and fast-break points (14-6).
Leading scorer Will Barton dropped in 11 first-half points, helping the Tigers take the lead into halftime, 30-28. Black added seven points and nine rebounds. Memphis only connected on 38.7 percent (12-for-31) of its shots, while allowing SMU to make 42.9 percent (9-of-21) during the opening frame.
Three Mustangs scored 10 points in the contest, Robert Nyakundi, Jeremia Samarrippas and Jalen Jones. Jones led the team in rebounding with five boards and Samarrippas handed out six assists.
Next up for Memphis is a 7:00 p.m. (CT) matchup with Rice at FedExForum on Wednesday, Jan. 25. The Tigers are 6-1 all-time against the Owls, with the lone loss coming in last season's contest in Houston. Rice won the game in convincing fashion, 67-52.