Tigers Cruise to Victory Over Rice, 73-51
Jan. 25, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis built a 12-point half-time advantage and pushed its lead out to as many as 27 points in the second half before dispatching of Rice, 73-51. Three Tigers finished in double-figures, paced by Chris Crawford's 15 points and seven rebounds. Antonio Barton added 11 points and Tarik Black chipped in 10.
With 7:21 left in the game and Memphis leading, 58-36, Rice's Tamir Jackson chased down Joe Jackson on a fast break and was whistled for a flagrant-two foul. As NCAA rules require, Tamir Jackson was ejected from the game. In the resulting fracas, Joe Jackson was given a technical foul and Will Barton and Black were ejected from the game for leaving the bench area during an on-court altercation.
Memphis (14-6, 5-1 C-USA) shot 42.9 percent (27-of-63) from the floor and 40.0 (6-of-15) percent from three-point territory, while holding Rice (11-10, 2-4 C-USA) to 40.5 percent (17-of-42) field goal shooting and 44.4 percent (4-of-9) from beyond the arc.
The difference in the game was the Tigers' defense, which forced 18 turnovers by the Owls. Memphis capitalized on the miscues, outscoring Rice, 21-6, in points off of turnovers. The Tigers also won the battle of the boards, 40-28, leading to an 11-3 advantage in second-chance points.
Stout defense by the Tigers held Rice without a field goal for the first 7:25 of the game, during which the Owls only mustered three free throws. The strong defensive start propelled Memphis to the halftime lead, 35-23. Antonio Barton scored nine points on 3-for-3 shooting from long range and Will Barton added seven points and five boards.
Rice forward Arsalan Kazemi took a rough fall when he flipped over D.J. Stephens late in the first half. The leading scorer and rebounder for Rice was held to just two points and five rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
Connor Frizzelle, Omar Oraby, and Jackson each scored 10 points for the Owls. Kazemi hauled in a game-high-tying eight boards and finished with four points.
Memphis takes on Marshall this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. (CT) at FedExForum. The all-time series between Memphis and Marshall stands at 7-2, in favor of the Tigers. However, Marshall won the last meeting, 85-70, in Huntington, W.Va., last season.