Senior Guards Lead Memphis to 69-59 Win at UCF
January 30, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
MEMPHIS PRESS RELEASE
ORLANDO, Fla. - The No. 22 University of Memphis men's basketball team (16-4, 6-2 American) held UCF (9-9, 1-6 American) to just one field goal over the final six minutes of play to record a 69-59 victory Wednesday night at the CFE Arena.
Joe Jackson led the Tigers with 17 points while adding five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Michael Dixon Jr. and Chris Crawford totaled 12 points apiece, while Geron Johnson also notched double figures with 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.
Isaiah Sykes led UCF with 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Matt Williams hit double digits with 13 points on 4-of-9 from behind the arc.
Memphis jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first four and a half minutes with four different Tigers getting in on the scoring. The Knights knotted the game up at the 13:18 mark after a Kasey Wilson layup.
A three-pointer from Dixon Jr. ended the 8-0 UCF run to put the Tigers back on top at 17-14. After a jumper by Sykes, Memphis put together a 6-0 run with four points coming from David Pellom for a 25-18 Memphis advantage with 8:51 to play in the half.
UCF kept it close as Staphon Blair scored six-straight points for the Knights to pull them within one. Jackson pushed the Tigers' lead to five with back-to-back jumpers, but UCF hit two triples to take a 33-32 lead with 3:13 to go.
A layup by Sykes gave the Knights a three-point advantage, but a three from Jackson helped the Tigers regain the lead with less than a minute to play. Sykes added another basket before the half to tie the game at 39 at the break.
The game stayed close throughout the opening minutes of the second half until a jumper by Jackson and a three from Crawford put Memphis up 51-46 with 13:41 to play.
The Knights continued to stay close with a basket from Tristan Spurlock to pull UCF within two at 56-54. Geron Johnson stretched the Memphis back up to five after three-straight from the free-throw line. A layup by Sykes brought the Knights within three, but another trey by Crawford extended the Memphis lead to 62-56 with six minutes remaining.
A free throw by Williams made it 66-59 Memphis, but three free throws by Jackson made it a final 69-59 score.
Memphis heads to Dallas, Texas, on Saturday to face SMU in a 1 p.m. (CT) tip-off. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.