No. 22 Memphis Wins Overtime Thriller Over Temple, 82-79
Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

Feb. 22, 2014

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Michael Dixon Jr. knocked down two free throws with 18 seconds left and Temple (7-19, 2-12 American) missed two last-chance three-pointers as the No. 22 University of Memphis men's basketball team (21-6, 10-4 American) survived an overtime thriller, 82-79, Saturday night at FedExForum.

Dixon Jr. stepped up to the free-throw line where the Tigers had been struggling all night to give Memphis an 82-79 lead. After Temple's Dalton Pepper missed a three-pointer, a missed one-and-one by Memphis at the line gave the ball back to the Owls with seven seconds to play. However, a last-second three by Quenton DeCosey was off the mark to give Memphis the victory.

Austin Nichols had a career night for the Tigers, finishing with 17 points while adding career-highs of 12 rebounds and seven blocks for his first career double-double. Memphis tied its season high in blocks with 10. Shaq Goodwin led Memphis with 20 points on 10-of-15 from the floor. Joe Jackson added 12 points and tied a season-high eight assists, while Dixon Jr. added 12 points and Geron Johnson totaled 10 on the night.

Will Cummings led Temple with 24 points, while DeCosey (23) and Pepper (20) also notched double figures for the Owls. Temple finished the night with 11 three-pointers, an opponent high for Memphis this season.

Both teams struggled from the charity stripe as Temple was 8-of-15 (53 percent) and Memphis shot 9-of-21 (43 percent). The Tigers held an advantage in points in the paint (56-36) and fast-break points (23-13).

Temple held an early advantage with seven of its nine points coming from Pepper to take a 9-6 lead through the first media timeout. Memphis stayed close until a jumper by Dixon Jr. lifted the Tigers to their first lead at 12-11 with 12:57 to play in the half.

Dixon Jr. knocked down Memphis' first triple on the next possession to extend the Tigers' lead to 15-11. A layup by Jackson followed by a three-pointer from Crawford pushed the Memphis lead to 22-14 midway through the period.

Cummings kept the Owls in it by scoring 10-straight points to bring them within 22-19. A free throw by DeCosey capped off a 6-0 run by Temple before a Nichols layup brought the Tigers' lead back to four at 24-20 with 7:34 remaining.

Memphis opened up a six-point advantage before a three by Cummings cut the Owls' deficit in half with 5:37 left on the clock. The Tigers answered with an 8-1 run with six points from Nichols to take a 36-26 lead. Temple pulled back within seven after a three from DeCosey with less than a minute remaining, but the Tigers took a 40-32 lead into the break.

Memphis' lead went to 10 out of halftime as Jackson found Goodwin for a one-handed dunk to make it 42-32. DeCosey kept Temple close with two three-pointers in the first four minutes of the half for a 48-42 Memphis advantage. Cummings brought the Owls within four but Dixon Jr. connected on his second triple of the night to push the Tigers' lead back to seven at 51-44.

A Cummings jumper pulled Temple within four but back-to-back buckets from Nichols gave Memphis some comfort with an eight-point advantage.

Temple kept hitting from downtown with baskets from Pepper and Mark Williams to bring the Owls within three at 59-56 with 11:16 to play. A layup by DeCosey followed by a three from Pepper put the Owls up 61-59 midway through the half. Temple extended its lead with another bucket from DeCosey to cap off an 11-0 run. Memphis went down low for the next four possessions as Goodwin converted three buckets while Nichols added one to put the Tigers up 67-65 with 7:44 to play.

Teams traded baskets over the next several minutes until a jumper by Jackson at the top of the key gave Memphis a 74-71 advantage with 1:33 remaining. On the other end, Pepper responded for the Owls, converting a three-point play with a drive in the paint to knot up the game at 74-all at 1:13.

A miss by Jackson gave Temple the ball with 47 seconds left on the clock, but the Owls would fail to hit after two attempts. A missed jumper by DeCosey would be rebounded by Cummings, who would then miss an attempt just outside the paint to give Memphis the ball back with seven seconds. A last-second three by Nichols would miss to send the game to overtime.

It was a defensive battle throughout overtime as neither team could take a sizeable lead. A three by Pepper put the Owls up 77-76 with 3:24 to play, but Jackson answered with a layup at the 2:39 mark to put Memphis up for good. Goodwin extended the Tigers' advantage to 80-77 before Dixon Jr.'s free throws sealed it for Memphis.

Memphis is back on the road Thursday when the Tigers head to Houston to face the Cougars in an 8 p.m. (CT) contest that will be aired on CBS Sports Network.



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