No. 21/19 Memphis Pulls Off Upset Win Over No. 5/8 Oklahoma State to Claim Old Spice Classic
Dec. 1, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. - The No. 21/19 University of Memphis men's basketball team (5-1) avenged a 21-point loss from 12 days ago to No. 5/8 Oklahoma State (7-1) by recording a 73-68 upset win over the Cowboys on Sunday night in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic.
Leading by one with 30 seconds to play, the Tigers forced two turnovers by guard Marcus Smart to prevent the Cowboys from going on top. Joe Jackson was clutch for Memphis down the stretch, hitting four free throws in the final 13 seconds to seal the team's first win over a top-five opponent since 2008 when the Tigers beat No. 3 UCLA.
Shaq Goodwin led the Tigers with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals to earn tournament MVP honors. Chris Crawford added 16 points with three treys. Michael Dixon Jr. chipped in 12 points while Jackson totaled 11 points, all coming in the second half. Austin Nichols, who was named to the all-tournament team, finished with nine points.
Phil Forte led the Cowboys with 19 points while Smart (12) and Markel Brown (10) also hit double figures.
The Tigers built an early 9-6 lead by the first media timeout with seven points coming from big men Nichols and Goodwin. Nichols continued to work down low with a crafty move to get open and find a pass from Goodwin for a dunk to put the Tigers up 11-6 with 15:16 left in the half.
The Cowboys reeled off a 6-2 run after a basket from Le'Bryan Nash to pull within one before Dixon Jr. knocked down a triple to push Memphis' lead to 16-12. Crawford then connected on a three-pointer to extend the Tigers' lead to 19-14.
On the other end, Smart hit one of two free throws before a layup by Goodwin gave Memphis its largest lead at 21-15 midway through the period.
OSU began to get back in the game with an 8-2 run to knot it up at 23-all. The Cowboys kept firing with back-to-back layups before a three from Forte gave OSU a 32-25 lead with 5:48 to go.
The Tigers cut their deficit to four following a three from Crawford but the Cowboys stretched it back out to go into the half up 42-32.
Memphis opened up the second half on a 7-0 run in 1:54 to trim OSU's advantage to 42-39. However, a technical foul on Memphis followed by a Forte three quickly pushed the Cowboys' lead to 47-39.
After two missed free throws by OSU, a transition layup by Jackson pulled the Tigers within four. The Cowboys continued to struggle on the offensive side, going more than seven minutes without a field goal. Memphis took advantage as a layup by Goodwin put Memphis back on top, 50-48, with 11:18 to play.
OSU got back on top with a dunk from Nash to go up 52-50 a minute later. Memphis answered with back-to-back buckets from Dixon Jr. to put the Tigers ahead 55-52 with eight minutes to go.
The Cowboys held close until a three from Crawford gave Memphis a little distance at 64-59 with five minutes to play. OSU got back within two following a triple from Forte to make it 66-64, but Crawford responded again with a layup for a 68-64 game with 2:59 to play.
Smart pulled the Cowboys within one point with two minutes to go after Crawford missed a one-and-one from the line. However, two key turnovers by OSU and four free throws from Jackson in the end proved to be enough for a Memphis win.
Memphis returns to FedExForum on Saturday when the Tigers host Northwestern State at 12 p.m. (CT). The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.