Memphis Holds Off Pesky Cougars, 81-74
Feb. 20, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis men's basketball team (23-3, 12-0 C-USA) held off several second half rallies by Houston (15-10, 4-8 C-USA) to capture their 17th-straight win in an 81-74 victory Wednesday night at FedExForum.
Memphis jumped out on top first with a jumper from Joe Jackson before the Cougars took the lead off a three from Danuel House to go up 5-4 three minutes into the game. Memphis got some good looks at the basket in the early going with four dunks, three coming from D.J. Stephens, to make it 15-14 Houston with 12 minutes to go in the half.
The Tigers got back in front for the first time since 2-0 with a jumper from Adonis Thomas at the 11:34 mark to give Memphis a 16-15 advantage. A steal by Stephens allowed for a fastbreak dunk for Thomas to extend the lead to 18-15.
Houston cut its deficit to five at the end of the half with a trey from Jherrod Stiggers to make it 33-28 with 47 seconds to go. The Tigers added a bucket with time winding down as Thomas tipped in a miss to help Memphis go into the half up 35-28. At the break, Thomas led the Tigers with 12 points while Crawford dished out four assists and grabbed eight rebounds.
The Cougars began the second half on an 11-4 to knot it up at 39-all three minutes into the half. With the game tied at 41, the Tigers began an 8-0 run with six-straight points from Black to go up 49-41.
Black continued to own the paint with a three-point play to push the Memphis lead back to double digits at 59-49 midway through the half. The Tigers opened their lead to 65-50 with a jumper from Thomas before Houston answered with a 7-0 spurt to get back in the game.
A three from Crawford pushed Memphis back in front by 15 with 3 minutes left in the game, but the Cougars fought back within eight after two back-to-back turnovers from the Tigers.
A dunk from Tashawn Thomas inched Houston to within six but Memphis knocked down six-straight free throws to earn a 81-74 victory.
Thomas led Memphis with 22 points, his second-straight 20-point game, while Black chipped in 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Stephens added 14 points and 10 boards on 6-of-7 from the floor. Crawford came close to a triple-double, finishing with 11 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, which set a career-high in rebounds and tied a career mark in assists. Jackson was the fifth Tiger in double figures with 11 points while dishing out six assists.
Memphis will be back at home Saturday when it hosts Southern Miss at noon at FedExForum. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net.