Mustangs Run Away from No. 22 Memphis in Second Half
February 2, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
MEMPHIS PRESS RELEASE
DALLAS - A slow start to the second half proved costly for the No. 22 University of Memphis men's basketball team (16-5, 6-3 American) as SMU (17-5, 6-3 American) broke an even halftime score to record an 87-72 win Saturday afternoon at Moody Coliseum.
Joe Jackson led Memphis with a season-high 22 points along with eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. Geron Johnson added 18 points and seven assists, while Michael Dixon Jr. finished with 13 points.
SMU had five players reach double figures with Markus Kennedy's 21 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the floor leading the way. Kennedy recorded 15 boards. Nic Moore also finished with a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists.
Both teams traded baskets throughout the first five minutes until the Mustangs opened up an 11-7 advantage after dunks from Kennedy and Nick Russell.
Trailing 15-11, the Tigers reeled off a 12-0 run with Jackson and Johnson totaling five points apiece to put Memphis up 23-15 with 6:57 to play in the half.
SMU ended its drought with Keith Frazier connecting from long range to bring the Mustangs within five. Layups from Shawn Williams and Kennedy pulled SMU closer, but Chris Crawford hit from downtown to make it 26-22 with less than five minutes before the half.
Teams would combine for just three field goals in the final four and a half minutes to go into the break tied at 29-all.
The Mustangs went on a 10-2 run to begin the second half with Moore connecting on two triples to put SMU up 39-31 with 17:59 remaining in the game.
A dunk from Johnson pulled the Tigers to within six at 40-34, but the Mustangs stretched it to double figures after a layup from Kennedy.
Memphis would go more than four minutes without a field goal as SMU extended its lead to 58-39 midway through the half. A three from Frazier gave the Mustangs their largest lead of the game at 66-41 with 8:14 to play.
Memphis scored on its next eight possessions to pull within 14 after a three from Dixon Jr. with just over four minutes left. However, the Tigers would be held to just two field goals the rest of the way in an 87-72 loss.
Memphis begins a three-game homestand Tuesday when the Tigers host Rutgers in a 6 p.m. (CT) at FedExForum. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.