Memphis Runs Away from UCF, 93-71
Feb. 13, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis men's basketball team (21-3, 10-0 C-USA) ran away from UCF (17-7, 7-3 C-USA) in the second half to go on to record a 93-71 victory Wednesday at FedExForum.
UCF jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game before the Tigers used a 6-0 run to knot the game up. The Knights retook a 12-8 lead, but D.J. Stephens registered the 100th dunk of his career to give Memphis a 13-12 advantage with 11:51 to play in the half. Stephens and Chris Crawford added two more dunks for the Tigers to help push Memphis' lead to 19-14 midway through the half.
The Knights answered with a 5-0 run with baskets from Kasey Wilson and Isaiah Sykes to tie it up once again. After two free throws from Stephens, UCF's third triple of the night gave the Knights another lead at 22-21.
The Tigers went back on top with a jumper from Joe Jackson followed by a trey from Geron Johnson to give Memphis a six-point lead with 5:41 remaining in the half. A three from Calvin Newell brought the Knights back within one, but three-straight baskets from the Tigers put them up 34-27. With just over a minute to go, Jackson pushed Memphis' lead up to eight with a layup off a steal from Adonis Thomas. The Knights added a bucket right before the buzzer to cut their deficit to six as Memphis went into the half up 42-36.
Johnson led the Tigers at the break with 12 points while Stephens added 10 on 4-of-4 from the floor. Both teams were sharp from the field as Memphis shot 53 percent in the half while UCF was 52 percent from the floor.
Thomas extended the Tigers' lead to 11 in the opening minute of the second half with a three followed by a jumper in the corner to make it 47-36. Thomas continued to stay hot from the floor, tallying his ninth point of the half at the 16:28 mark to give Memphis a 55-42 advantage.
The Knights began to trim their deficit with two free throws from Keith Clanton followed by a trey from Kasey Wilson to make it 57-49 with 13:49 left. Memphis answered with a 10-0 run over the next 1:43 as Crawford knocked down back-to-back triples before Johnson added one of his own to give the Tigers a sizeable advantage at 67-49.
Memphis continued to run away from the Knights as Jackson had four of the team's next six baskets to build an 80-53 lead with seven minutes to play. Tarik Black recorded Memphis' next five points, including an and-one opportunity to push the lead to 30.
After a layup from Newell, Johnson and Jackson hit treys to extend the Tigers' advantage to 91-57 with three minutes to play.
The Knights cut their deficit in the final minutes with a 14-2 run off four Memphis turnovers, but their comeback was not close to being enough as the Tigers walked away with a 93-71 victory.
Jackson led the Tigers with 21 points (10-of-12) while tying a career-high 10 assists. Johnson added 19 points and a career-high nine rebounds and eight assists while Thomas chipped in 17 points. Stephens and Crawford also reached double figures with 10 points apiece.
Memphis shot a season-best 59 percent (38-65) from the field along with a season-high 28 assists on 38 made field goals. The Tigers held an advantage in points in the paint (48-22), points off turnovers (30-14), second chance points (18-10) and fastbreak points (27-7).
The Tigers will be back on the road Saturday with a game against Marshall at 7 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on CBS College Sports.