Memphis Defeats Tulane 81-68 to Advance in C-USA Tournament
March 14, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - Hot shooting by Chris Crawford and Adonis Thomas carried the University of Memphis men's basketball team (28-4) to an 81-68 win over Tulane (19-14) in the quarterfinal round of the Conference USA Tournament.
Tulane took an early 6-2 lead, but Shaq Goodwin put the Tigers on top one minute later with a bucket to make it 7-6 Memphis four minutes into the game. Turnovers haunted the Green Wave over the next several minutes as Memphis' feisty defense allowed it to open up a 21-14 advantage at the 12:12 mark.
Crawford's third triple of the game put Memphis up 25-18 before Tulane answered with back-to-back jumpers to come within three at 25-22 with 8:34 to go.
With Tulane hanging close, D.J. Stephens added two baskets for Memphis, including an off balance layup on a putback, to put the Tigers up 36-27 with 2:39 remaining in the half. After a second shot clock violation by Tulane, Crawford scored Memphis' final eight points of the half with back-to-back treys followed by a fastbreak dunk to give Memphis a 44-27 lead at the break.
Crawford led the Tigers at the half with 17 points on 5-of-7 from long range. Thomas also reached double figures with 11 points while adding four assists and three steals. Memphis scored 19 points off turnovers with Geron Johnson totaling four steals to lead the team. The Tigers shot 58 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes with 14 assists on 18 made baskets.
Memphis extended its lead to 18 to begin the second half with a layup from Goodwin before the Green Wave responded with an 8-0 run to cut their deficit to 10 with 15:59 to go.
The Tigers put together a run of their own with a 10-2 spurt as Crawford connected on a career-high sixth three before he connected on 2-of-3 from the stripe. Johnson distanced the Tigers even further with a triple of his own to make it 58-40 with 11:22 to go.
Tulane cut it to nine with under six to play before a layup from Joe Jackson put Memphis' lead back in double figures at 11. The Tigers pushed it to 15 with another basket from Jackson before a fastbreak dunk from Crawford set a career-high 24 points to put Memphis up 16 to cap off an 81-68 win.
Thomas finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, a career-high six assists and three steals, while Jackson also reached double digits with 15 points. Memphis held an advantage in assists (20-10) and steals (11-6) while shooting 55 percent from the floor compared to the Green Wave's 38 percent.
Memphis will face the winner between No. 4 East Carolina and No. 5 Tulsa tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. CT in the semifinals on the CBS Sports Network.