Late Rally Lifts No. 21/19 Memphis to 76-69 Win Over LSU
Nov. 29, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. - The No. 21/19 University of Memphis men's basketball team (4-1) outscored LSU (4-2) 27-12 over the final 12 minutes of the game to lift the Blue and Gray to a 76-69 victory Friday night in the semifinals of the Old Spice Classic.
After a three-pointer from LSU's Anthony Hickey that made it 72-69 Memphis with 16.8 seconds to play, two free throws from Joe Jackson and a dunk from Chris Crawford helped Memphis to its third-straight victory and an appearance in the tournament championship.
Memphis was led by Austin Nichols, who finished with 19 points and eight boards. Crawford totaled 17 points while Jackson added 16 points, seven assists and four steals. LSU finished the game shooting 57 percent from the floor while holding Memphis to 45 percent. However, LSU committed 24 turnovers to Memphis' 10. Hickey led LSU with 20 points while Johnny O'Bryant lll (14) and Jordan Mickey (10) also reached double figures.
Memphis held a 5-2 lead in the opening minutes before LSU went on a 5-0 run to grab a 7-5 advantage. After a bucket by Dominic Woodson to knot it up at 9-all, LSU took a 15-9 lead with four points from Jarell Martin.
Memphis got back in it with layups from Geron Johnson and Jackson to make it 15-13 before a three from Crawford put the Tigers ahead, 16-15, out of the media timeout.
After a jumper from David Pellom, LSU went on a 7-0 spurt after a trey from Tim Quarterman to help LSU to a 24-19 lead with eight minutes to play in the half.
The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes before Memphis tied it up at 30-all with a jumper from Michael Dixon Jr. and a three from Crawford with three minutes to go.
LSU quickly answered with an 8-0 run, getting five points from Hickey in a minute and a half to take a 38-30 advantage. Memphis cut its deficit before the half with a basket from Jackson and two free throws from Crawford to go into the half trailing 38-34.
LSU built a seven-point lead in the first two minutes of the second half with two quick layups after a bucket from Shaq Goodwin to make it 45-38.
Memphis pulled back within two following a dunk from Nichols and another triple from Crawford for a 47-45 game with 15:46 to play.
LSU distanced themselves once again as the Tigers converted on four-straight possessions to take a 55-47 lead with 13 minutes to play.
Memphis answered with a run of their own that began with two free throws from Jackson. The Tigers then forced a LSU turnover on the press that set up a three-point play from Nichols to make it a 57-54 game in favor of LSU with 10:49 remaining.
Nichols answered again down low on the next possession to pull Memphis within one. A layup from Crawford gave Memphis its first lead since 19-17 that put them ahead 60-59 with nine and a half minutes to play.
Teams traded buckets over the next several minutes with a jumper from Hickey that knotted it up at 64 with four minutes to play. Jackson answered on the other end for Memphis with a layup before a moving screen was called on LSU to give the ball back to Memphis. Jackson converted once again with a layup to give Memphis a 68-64 lead with three minutes to play.
Memphis continued to stay on top as Nichols knocked down a jumper with 1:33 remaining for a 70-66 score. After a Jackson steal with one minute to go, he then hit two free throws to help the Tigers hang on for a 76-69 win.
Memphis will face No. 5/8 Oklahoma State (7-0) on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. (CT) in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic. The Tigers suffered their only setback of the season with a 101-80 defeat to the Cowboys on Nov. 19 in Stillwater. Sunday's game will be televised on ESPN2.