Memphis Advances in NCAA Tournament With 54-52 Win Over Saint Mary's

March 21, 2013

Bracket | Tournament Central | Highlights

By The Numbers
8 D.J. Stephens set a career-high eight blocks in Memphis' win over Saint Mary's. Stephens' previous high was six, which he recorded twice this season - the last being against Tulsa on Mar. 15.
14 Joe Jackson led Memphis with 14 points, the 10th time this season he has led the Tigers in scoring.
33 Memphis held Saint Mary's to 33 percent (19-58) from the floor.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Stifling defense and timely shooting helped the sixth seeded University of Memphis men's basketball team (31-4) defeat 11th seed Saint Mary's (28-7), 54-52, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

Memphis advances to face the No. 3 seed Michigan State on Saturday with the game time to be announced at a later time.

D.J. Stephens made his presence known early with two blocks and a steal in the first two minutes as the Tigers jumped out to a 7-3 lead after a three from Adonis Thomas at the 14:49 mark.

The Gaels answered with baskets from Beau Levesque and Matthew Dellavedova to knot it up at seven-all with 12:34 to go before Brad Waldow gave Saint Mary's its first lead of the game at 11-9. Memphis responded with a 10-0 to take a 19-11 advantage after triples from Thomas and Joe Jackson forced the Gaels to call a timeout at 7:23.

Memphis continued to run away from the Gaels with a three-point play from Jackson before two from Tarik Black to build a 28-13 with 2:54 remaining.

Saint Mary's got back within 10 as Levesque finished a three-point play at 1:07 to make it 30-20. A high-flying dunk from Stephens pushed the Tigers' advantage to 32-20, but the Gaels got two free throws from Dellavedova to make the score 32-22 going into the half.

Jackson led the Tigers with 10 points and five assists at the break while Thomas and Black each added eight points for Memphis. The Tigers shot 52 percent from the field in the opening period and held Saint Mary's to just 31 percent.

The Gaels cut Memphis' lead to five as Dellavedova knocked down a three before a layup from Waldow made it 32-27 three minutes into the second half.

Geron Johnson got Memphis on the board in the half with a tip-in to bring the Tigers' lead back to seven with 16:34 to play.

After a tip-in from Jordan Giusti, both teams went scoreless over the next two minutes before two free throws from Levesque brought the Gaels within three at 36-33.

Thomas and Stephens helped Memphis open up a 41-33 lead with 9:12 to go before a three from Chris Crawford pushed the Tigers' lead to 44-35 with less than eight minutes to play.

The Gaels were not finished as Mitchell Young added five-straight points to pull Saint Mary's back within four at 44-40 with 5:29 remaining. Jackson answered on the other end with a three from the top of the key to stretch the Memphis lead to 47-40 with less than four minutes to go.

Memphis kept the Gaels at a distance as Crawford hit both free throws to give Memphis a 51-44 with 1:04 remaining. A bucket from Waldow pulled Saint Mary's within four with 19 ticks left after a couple of missed free throws by the Tigers allowed the Gaels to chip away their deficit.

After Stephens made one of two from the line, Eividas Petrulis banked in a three-pointer to bring the Gaels within 54-52 with five seconds to go. A turnover by Memphis on the ensuing inbounds play gave Saint Mary's the ball back with 1.9 seconds on the clock. With a chance for the win, Dellavedova launched a three that went over the basket to give Memphis a 54-52 victory.

Jackson led Memphis with 14 points and seven assists while Black and Thomas added 12 points apiece for the Tigers. Stephens finished with a career-high eight blocks to help the Tigers hold a 12-0 advantage in the category.

Memphis held Dellavedova, the Gaels' leading scorer, to 10 points while forcing him to commit six turnovers. Waldow led Saint Mary's with 17 points.



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