Memphis Surges Past Southern Miss, 89-73
Feb. 23, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A late first-half run was more than enough for the University of Memphis men's basketball team (24-3, 13-0 C-USA) Saturday, as the Tigers picked up an 89-73 victory over Southern Miss (21-7, 10-3 C-USA) to claim a share of their eighth Conference USA regular season title.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 5-2 lead with a triple from Adonis Thomas and an alley-oop from Shaq Goodwin to D.J. Stephens in the opening minute. The Golden Eagles answered with a 6-0 run off two Memphis turnovers to take an 8-5 lead before a three from Chris Crawford put the Tigers back on top at 10-8 with 15:28 remaining.
Southern Miss took an 18-15 advantage with two triples, but Memphis responded with a 10-2 run with six points from Goodwin to take a 25-20 lead with 6:48 left in the half.
The Golden Eagles pulled back within one on a jumper from Dwayne Davis to make it 28-27 with four and a half minutes to go. Memphis answered with an 18-3 run to close out the half as Crawford connected on two treys while Joe Jackson added another. Crawford ended the half for the Tigers with three free throws after getting fouled on an attempt from behind the arc. Memphis went into the locker room with a 46-30 advantage. Crawford led the Tigers at the break with 15 points on 4-of-6 from long range, while Goodwin added 12 on 4-of-4 shooting.
Memphis came out firing in the second half with Geron Johnson knocking down a triple before Goodwin converted a three-point play to put the Tigers up 52-30 in the first minute of the second half.
The Tigers stretched their lead to as much as 23 before Southern Miss cut the deficit to 14 midway through the half after three scoreless minutes from the Tigers.
The Golden Eagles inched within 12 with 8:08 to play before the Tigers responded with six-straight points to own a comfortable advantage at 78-60 with 6:42 to go. A jumper set a career-high 16 points for Stephens before buckets from Thomas and Jackson gave Memphis a 20-point lead with four minutes to play.
Southern Miss would only get back within 15 as another trey from Crawford helped Memphis secure an 89-73 win and tie the nation's longest win streak at 18 games.
Crawford and Goodwin each tallied 19 points on the day, with Crawford knocking down a career-high five triples. Stephens set a career-high 16 points on 6-of-7 from the floor to go along with seven rebounds and five blocks. Johnson dished out seven assists as Memphis finished with 25 assists on 29 made field goals. Jackson also reached double figures with 15 points, while Thomas added 12 for the Tigers.
The Golden Eagles were led by Davis' 28 points. Southern Miss outrebounded the Tigers 39-35.
Memphis heads north Tuesday with a 6 p.m. CT tip against Xavier. The game will be televised on ESPN2.