Crawford Nets Career-High 23 Points in Memphis' Loss to Southern Miss, 75-72
Feb. 1, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Chris Crawford scored a career-high 23 points, but was unable to connect on a three-point shot at the buzzer and Southern Miss defeated Memphis, 75-72. Crawford connected on 9-of-15 (60.0 percent) field-goal attempts, including 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) from three-point range.
Memphis (15-7, 6-2 C-USA) trailed Southern Miss (20-3, 7-1 C-USA), 69-65, with under a minute to play, when Will Barton grabbed an errant free-throw attempt and drove the length of the floor. Barton drew a foul and sank both free throws.
Barton then fouled Neil Watson, who knocked down a pair of shots from the charity stripe, and Joe Jackson immediately pushed the ball up the court for the lay-in, keeping the Tigers' deficit at two points.
On the ensuing Southern Miss possession, Antonio Barton flicked the ball from Watson and right into Jackson's hands. Jackson connected on the first free throw, but missed the second. Wesley Witherspoon missed on a put-back attempt and the Tigers still trailed by a point with 22 seconds remaining.
After Darnell Dodson sank two free throws for USM, D.J. Stephens took a pass from Jackson and threw down a dunk to pull the U of M back within one point, 73-72.
Full-court pressure defense by the Tigers forced a long pass by the Golden Eagles that was nearly picked off, but Dodson was there to collect the loose ball near mid-court. Dodson was fouled and hit both free throws, securing the final margin as Crawford's attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
Despite shooting 56.3 percent (27-for-48) from the floor and limiting Southern Miss to 41.1 percent (23-of-56), Memphis couldn't overcome its lackluster rebounding effort and a strong free-throw shooting performance by the Golden Eagles.
Memphis was outrebounded, 36-23, leading to 15 second chance points for Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles also connected on 24-of-27 (88.9 percent) of their free throws, compared to 13-of-17 (76.5 percent) for the Tigers.
Southern Miss snapped Memphis' 18-game win streak against the Golden Eagles. This was the first time since the second game of the 2003-04 season that Memphis lost to Southern Miss.
Crawford nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull Memphis within a point, 34-33, at the break. The sophomore guard tallied 18 first-half points, on 7-for-10 (70.0 percent) shooting, leaving him one point shy of his career-high with 20 minutes left to play.
The Tigers connected on 14-of-26 (53.8 percent) from the floor, including 4-for-11 (36.4 percent) from long range, while the Golden Eagles shot 11-of-27 (40.7 percent) from the field and 2-of-7 (28.6 percent) from three-point territory. Southern Miss was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe and Memphis made its lone attempt from the line.
Dodson paced the Golden Eagles with 23 points on the strength of 9-for-9 from the charity stripe. Watson was also perfect from the free-throw line, 8-for-8, on his way to scoring 17 points. LaShay Page posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards.
Memphis returns to the friendly confines of FedExForum for its final non-conference matchup of the season against Xavier University. Game time is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. (CT). The women's basketball team is slated to play UCF following the men's game, with tip-off at 4:00 p.m. (CT)