Crawford Lifts Memphis to 85-74 Win Over Tulsa in C-USA Semifinals
March 15, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - A career-high 30 points and eight three-pointers from Chris Crawford lifted the University of Memphis men's basketball team (29-4) to their third-straight Conference USA Championship game with a 85-74 win over Tulsa (17-15).
In the opening minutes, D.J. Stephens drained a three at the top of the key before a drive to the basket put the Tigers up 9-6 at the 15:14 mark. Crawford kept his hot shooting going from last night with a jumper in the corner followed by a three to give Memphis a 14-10 lead with 13 minutes left in the half.
Scottie Haralson kept the Golden Hurricane in it early, scoring eight of Tulsa's first ten points of the game.
Memphis began to pull away midway through the half as Crawford connected on another long range bomb before Shaq Goodwin and Tarik Black added buckets down low to stretch the Tigers' lead to 21-12 with nine minutes to go.
With Memphis holding a 27-16 lead, Tulsa began a 7-0 run as a three from Pat Swilling, Jr. made it 27-23 with 3:52 to play. A trey from Crawford put Memphis up seven but two triples for the Golden Hurricane pulled them within one with a minute to go. Geron Johnson slammed back a missed three to give the Tigers a 34-31 lead before Rashad Ray hit a jumper in the final seconds to make it 34-33 going into the half.
Crawford led Memphis at the break with 11 points while Goodwin added eight points and four boards.
Tulsa took its first lead since 6-4 with a jumper from James Woodard at 19:04 to go up 35-34. The lead would be short-lived as a free throw from Stephens and a jumper from Adonis Thomas gave the Tigers a 37-35 advantage.
A floater in the lane from Johnson put Memphis up 43-35 five minutes into the half, but Swilling, Jr. kept Tulsa in the game with a three to pull the Golden Hurricane back within five.
Crawford stretched the Memphis lead to 53-42 with back-to-back threes before Johnson gave Memphis a 12-point cushion with a trey of his own. Crawford continued to light it up from downtown with his sixth trey midway through the second half to put the Tigers up 61-46.
Haralson kept the Golden Hurricane in the game with three triples over a three-minute span to pull Tulsa within ten with six minutes remaining.
Free throws from Brandon Swannegan brought Tulsa to 67-59 but a layup from Thomas and Crawford's seventh three of the night put Memphis back up 72-59 with less than four minutes to go. With two minutes remaining, Crawford knocked down his eighth triple to give Memphis its largest lead of 18 at 77-59.
Tulsa would get back within 11 after back-to-back threes and a fastbreak layup, but the Golden Hurricane would run out of time as Memphis sealed an 85-74 win.
Stephens finished with his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards while tying a career-high with six blocks. Johnson was second for the Tigers in scoring, totaling 14 points and seven rebounds, while Goodwin added 12 points for Memphis. Thomas finished with 11 points while dishing out six assists for the second-straight game to tie a career high.
Memphis finished the game shooting 49 percent and 52 percent (11-21) from long range, while holding Tulsa to 45 percent from the field and 38 percent from behind the arc.
Memphis will square off against the No. 2 seed Southern Miss tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in the C-USA Championship game as the Tigers look to capture their third-straight conference crown.