Memphis Extends Winning Streak With 89-76 Win Over Southern Miss
Feb. 9, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Memphis men's basketball team (20-3, 9-0 C-USA) shot 56 percent from the field and 47 percent from behind the arc in an 89-76 win over Southern Miss (18-6, 7-2 C-USA) on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the opening minute as Geron Johnson found D.J. Stephens on an alley-oop followed by a jumper from Johnson. Southern Miss answered with six-straight points before a three by Johnson gave Memphis a 7-6 lead three minutes into the game.
Memphis built a 14-9 advantage with a fastbreak dunk from Shaq Goodwin and a three-point play from Johnson at the 15:10 mark. The Golden Eagles came back with their own 5-0 run with a bucket from Michael Craig and a trey from Daveon Boardingham to knot it at 14 with 13:40 to go.
USM opened up a 21-17 lead but Tarik Black answered with two baskets down low to tie the game up midway through the half. Chris Crawford lit it up for Memphis with four-straight triples and an assist to a Stephens' dunk to make it 35-28 Memphis with 6:42 left. Adonis Thomas helped extend the Tigers' lead to 37-28 with a jumper in the paint.
The Golden Eagles pulled back within five before Stephens ended the USM spurt with a put-back dunk to give the Tigers a seven-point advantage. Stephens followed with an and-one opportunity to put Memphis up 10 with three minutes to play.
USM came back once again with back-to-back jumpers from Dwayne Davis and a three from Neil Watson to cut the Tigers' lead down to 42-39 with 1:30 to play.
Memphis was not done yet as Johnson knocked down his second triple of the day and Thomas hit a jumper in the final seconds to put Memphis up 47-39 going into the half. At the break, Crawford led Memphis with 12 points while Johnson added 11. The Tigers hit 66 percent (19-29) from the field in the first 20 minutes, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc.
In the second half, the Golden Eagles cut into the Memphis lead with a jumper from Boardingham followed by a three from Davis to make it 54-51 with 15 minutes to play.
With Memphis up by three, Thomas pulled up for a jumper before Black positioned himself down low for an easy layup to put the Tigers up 62-55 with 11 minutes to go. Thomas answered again for Memphis with a three-point play in the paint to give Memphis a 65-57 lead. Southern Miss answered with four-straight points to bring the Golden Eagles within four. However, Johnson hit his third trey of the day to push the Memphis lead back up to seven with eight minutes to play.
With the Tigers up 74-67, a jumper from Thomas brought Memphis' advantage to nine before Johnson forced a USM turnover that led to a fastbreak layup from Joe Jackson to put Memphis up 78-67. Johnson tied his career-high of 21 points with a trey at the 3:19 mark to give Memphis its largest lead at 14.
The Golden Eagles would only get back to within 10 the rest of the way as the Tigers went 6-of-6 from the line to pull out an 89-76 win.
Johnson set a career-high 25 points and tied career-highs with eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Crawford added 16 off the bench while Thomas and Stephens also reached double figures with 11 apiece.
The Tigers return home Wednesday with a 7 p.m. contest against UCF. The game will be televised on CBS College Sports.