No. 21 Memphis Falls at Houston, 77-68
Feb. 27, 2014
HOUSTON - A season-high 19 points from Michael Dixon Jr. and a double-double from Shaq Goodwin were not enough for the No. 21 University of Memphis men's basketball team (21-7, 10-5 American) as the Tigers dropped a 77-68 decision to Houston (14-14, 6-9 American) on Thursday night at Hofheinz Pavilion.
While Memphis shot 47 percent from the field over Houston's 44 percent, the Cougars knocked down eight three-pointers - five more than Memphis - and made it to the charity stripe 19 more times.
Dixon Jr. had 17 of his 19 points come in the second half, while Goodwin posted 16 points and grabbed 10 boards in the loss. Austin Nichols was the third Tiger to reach double figures with 12 points.
Houston was led by Danuel House, who totaled 19 points, while TaShawn Thomas (16) and Jherrod Stiggers (14) also notched double digits.
The Cougars took a 7-4 lead in the opening minutes following a three-point play from Thomas. Memphis answered with a 7-0 run that included four points from Nichols and a three from Geron Johnson for an 11-7 lead with 15:34 to play in the half.
Houston kept it close thanks to its outside shooting as Stiggers and Tione Womack connected from long range to tie it up seven minutes into the game. Teams traded baskets for the next few minutes until back-to-back buckets from Goodwin gave the Tigers a 23-19 advantage with 8:44 remaining in the half.
House hit from behind the arc for Houston's third three-pointer of the game at the 7:59 mark to pull the Cougars within one at 23-22. After a scoring drought by both teams, Houston regained the lead at 30-29 after a layup by Thomas with 3:22 to go.
Memphis responded with two-straight baskets as the Tigers took a 33-30 advantage with two minutes to play in the period. Houston would end the half on a 6-0 run with a basket from Danrad Knowles and a four-point play from House to take a 36-33 lead at the break.
The Cougars opened the second half on a 6-2 spurt before Joe Jackson converted a three-point play to pull the Tigers within four. Dixon Jr. scored five-straight points for Memphis with two free throws followed by a triple to make it 44-43 Houston with 16:24 to play. The Tigers then went back on top with two baskets from Goodwin and a three from Dixon Jr. to take a 50-46 advantage with 12:51 to go.
Houston wasn't finished as the Cougars went on a 9-0 run that began with a three-point play by Thomas before Stiggers knocked down back-to-back threes for a 55-50 game with 11:09 left on the clock.
The Tigers stormed back with three baskets in less than a minute to go up 56-55. However, Houston grabbed a 63-60 lead after a layup by Thomas before Dixon Jr. converted a three-point play to knot it up at 63-all with 3:54 remaining.
House stretched the game out with two minutes to play by hitting a three-pointer to give Houston a 68-63 lead. Dixon Jr. answered for the Tigers with a layup at the 1:37 mark to bring them within three, but Memphis would be held without a field goal the rest of the way as Houston recorded a 77-68 win.
Memphis returns to FedExForum on Saturday when the Tigers host No. 7 Louisville in a 1 p.m. (CT) tip-off that will be televised on CBS Sports Network.