No. 20 Memphis Comes Up Short to No. 24 UConn on the Road
Feb. 15, 2014
HARTFORD, Conn. - A season-high 24 points from Joe Jackson was not enough for the No. 20 University of Memphis men's basketball team (19-6, 8-4 American) as they dropped an 86-81 decision to No. 24 UConn (20-5, 8-4 American) in overtime Saturday afternoon at the XL Center.
In addition to his 24 points, Jackson led the Tigers with seven assists. Geron Johnson added 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Chris Crawford chipped in 12 points off four three-pointers. Michael Dixon Jr. came off the bench to total 10 points, six boards and four assists.
Shabazz Napier led UConn with 34 points along with a team-high four steals. Ryan Boatright added 21 points and six assists for the Huskies.
The Tigers shot 55 percent from the field compared to UConn's 39 percent, but committed 18 turnovers to UConn's six. Memphis also only made nine trips to the free-throw line while the Huskies went 29-of-36 from the charity stripe.
Memphis jumped out to a quick 8-2 advantage in the first two and a half minutes thanks to three-pointers from Crawford and Johnson. After a layup by Austin Nichols that made it 14-8, the Huskies began to chip away at their deficit with threes from DeAndre Daniels and Napier that began a 15-0 run by UConn over the next four minutes.
A jumper by Napier at the 12:36 mark gave the Huskies their first lead of the game at 15-14. Another triple from Napier and UConn's free-throw shooting helped the Huskies stretch their lead to 23-14 midway through the half.
However, the Tigers answered with an 11-0 spurt that began with a three by Crawford to pull Memphis within 23-17. A jumper by Dixon Jr. put the Tigers back in front at 24-23 with 7:37 to play.
The Huskies grabbed a 29-25 lead but a basket by Jackson and six-straight points from Johnson pushed the Tigers ahead at 33-31 with 2:18 remaining. A three by Niels Giffey helped UConn take a 36-35 advantage at the break.
Memphis took a three-point advantage out of the locker room with layups from Johnson and Jackson for a 39-36 score. A three from Boatright knotted the game up at 41-all three minutes into the half as teams stayed neck-and-neck over the next several minutes.
With UConn leading 53-51 with 11:19 to play, Napier scored the next five points for the Huskies to give them a comfortable 58-51 advantage.
Memphis responded as Crawford connected from long range for the fourth time to bring the Tigers within four. Jackson then drove the lane and brought Memphis to 58-56 with less than 10 minutes to go.
The Huskies continued to hold a slight advantage through the latter part of the game until six-straight points by Memphis put the Tigers up 69-66 with 1:41 remaining.
Napier stepped up for UConn once again, converting a three-point play to knot it up at 69-all with 52 seconds to play. Memphis was unable to score on its next possession as UConn forced a shot clock violation to get the ball back with 16.8 second left. Napier's last-second attempt from three rolled around the rim and out to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, Boatright gave the Huskies a 75-71 advantage with 3:08 to play, but Dixon Jr. answered on the other end after a UConn free throw to pull Memphis within two. The Huskies received help from Napier as he knocked down a three to extend the lead to 79-74 with 1:48 to go.
The Tigers could only pull back within four the rest of the way as UConn made seven-straight free throws to end the game.
Memphis heads to Piscataway, N.J., on Thursday to take on Rutgers in a 6 p.m. (CT) tip-off. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.