Memphis Holds On to Top GW, 71-66

March 21, 2014

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RALEIGH, N.C. - In a game of short runs, it was Memphis that had the final short spurt for victory. Clinging to a 64-62 lead with 2:39 left, the No. 8 seed Tigers closed the contest with a 7-4 run to claim a 71-66 NCAA Tournament second-round win over No. 9 seed George Washington and advance to Sunday's round of 32.

Memphis faces No. 1 seed Virginia in the NCAA Tournament third round Sunday. Game time is to be announced later.

Michael Dixon Jr. scored a team-high 19 points, including the Tigers' last seven of the game, and Joe Jackson added 15 points and six assists. Chris Crawford had nine points, six assists and four rebounds. Crawford played 36 minutes without a turnover.

Austin Nichols grabbed a team-best six rebounds, while Shaq Goodwin had two blocks.

Midway through the second half, the Tigers stretched a six-point advantage from 51-45 to 55-45 on back-to-back baskets by Goodwin and Dixon. The Colonials, though, answered with four-straight points to cut the Memphis lead to 55-49 with 8:47 to play.

It was the Tigers' turn to make the run again over the next five minutes. Memphis outscored George Washington 9-6 over those five minutes to increase its lead to 64-55 with 3:56 left. Four different Tigers scored in the run.

Then, the Colonials put together one final charge with a 7-0 spurt to pull to within two at 64-62 with 2:39 on the clock. An Isaiah Armwood layup started the run and was followed by a Maurice Creek trey and a Patricio Garino layup.

However, Memphis had one final push - with all seven points scored by Dixon - to secure the win.

Armwood netted a game-high 21 points for the Colonials. Kevin Larsen (16 points) and Garino (10) also netted double figures for George Washington. Garino grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

The first half was much like the second as teams traded runs.

After the teams played to a 10-all tie in the opening six minutes, Memphis used a 9-3 run to take a 19-13 lead that it held until halftime. Jackson and Goodwin started the spurt with consecutive layups, and Crawford added his third three-pointer of the half. David Pellom capped the run with a layup.

Two Armwood free throws cut the Tigers' lead to 20-16, but Memphis put together another small run to grab a 26-16 advantage with 5:43 left before half. A Jackson trey and a Dixon three-point play fueled the spurt.

The Colonials answered with an 8-2 spurt to cut the Memphis lead to 28-24, but Dixon responded with a three-pointer to extend the Tigers' advantage to seven at 31-24.

George Washington netted the final points of the half for the 31-26 score at the break.

Memphis will play No. 1 seeded Virginia on Sunday in the NCAA Third Round. Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. The game will be televised on TNT.



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