Memphis Remains Undefeated in C-USA Play with 76-67 Win over UCF
March 2, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. - The University of Memphis men's basketball team (25-4, 14-0 C-USA) overcame a 10-point first-half deficit to claim their sixth outright C-USA regular season title and get head coach Josh Pastner his 100th career win with a 76-67 victory over UCF (19-10, 8-6 C-USA).
UCF jumped out to a 14-4 lead in the first six minutes of the game as Memphis committed four turnovers and went 2-of-10 to begin the game.
Memphis responded with an 8-0 run to cut the Knights' lead down to two with Joe Jackson knocking down back-to-back jumpers to spark the Tigers' run. However, the Knights stretched their lead to six with five-straight points from Keith Clanton to build a 19-13 advantage with 8:48 to play.
Back-to-back treys from Chris Crawford knotted the game at 27 with 2:27 to go before Crawford pushed the Tigers ahead for the first time in the game with a fastbreak dunk to make it 29-27. Memphis extended its lead with a three from Thomas followed by a bucket down low from Tarik Black to go into the half with a 34-29 advantage.
At the half, Crawford led the Tigers with 11 points, going 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Thomas and Jackson each added seven points for Memphis.
Baskets from Thomas and Shaq Goodwin opened up a 38-29 lead for Memphis to begin the second half. However, Clanton answered for the Knights with nine-straight points to knot the game up at 38-all with 15:47 to play.
Crawford put the Tigers back on top at 40-38 before a three-point play from Thomas stretched Memphis' lead to 45-41. A three from Jackson helped the Tigers open up a 52-43 lead with 12 minutes to play. Memphis extended its lead even further with a jumper from Crawford and two free throws from Stephens, which gave the Tigers an 11-point advantage.
Crawford continued to remain hot from behind the arc with his fourth triple of the day to stretch Memphis' lead to 13 at 61-48 with 8:08 to go.
The Knights pulled back within six after a three from Calvin Newell to make it 68-62 with 3:36 to play. However, Memphis answered with a bucket from Black and two free throws from Jackson to get its lead back to double digits. UCF was unable to make another run in the final minutes as Memphis earned a 76-67 victory.
Crawford and Jackson each recorded 19 points while Thomas added 12 for the Tigers.
Memphis will travel to UTEP on Tuesday to face the Miners in an 8 p.m. CT contest. The game will be televised on CBS College Sports.