No. 24 Memphis Rolls By Rutgers, 101-69
February 5, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
MEMPHIS PRESS RELEASE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A season-high 12 three-pointers and six players in double figures lifted the No. 24 University of Memphis men's basketball team (17-5, 7-3 American) to a 101-69 victory over Rutgers (9-14, 3-7 American) on Tuesday night at FedExForum.
The Tigers were led by Austin Nichols, who finished with 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field. Joe Jackson added 16 points and a team-high eight assists, while Michael Dixon Jr. totaled 15 points on 3-of-4 from behind the arc. Shaq Goodwin posted 13 points, while Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson added 12 points and five assists apiece. Crawford finished with a double-double, recording a season-high 11 boards.
Memphis jumped out to an early 12-3 lead with seven points coming from Nichols to force a Rutgers timeout. The Scarlet Knights went more than seven minutes without a field goal while the Tigers hit eight straight from the floor to build a 22-5 advantage with 12:31 remaining in the half.
The Tigers continued to stretch out their lead with back-to-back three-pointers from Crawford to make it a 37-9 game with less than nine minutes to play. A three from Dixon Jr. followed by a basket from Nichols pushed the Memphis advantage to 45-14 with 5:16 left on the clock. Crawford connected on his third triple of the game with a basket at the 2:25 mark to make the score 51-17.
With less than a minute before the break, Jackson answered with a basket from downtown to build the Tigers' lead to 56-19. Memphis went into the half up 56-21 after shooting 67 percent from the field compared to Rutgers' 25 percent.
The Scarlet Knights' shooting improved coming out of the locker room as Jerome Seagears hit two three-pointers in the first two and a half minutes of the period to pull Rutgers within 28.
The Tigers increased their lead once again with a three from Dixon Jr. and two free throws from Jackson to open up a 67-34 lead with 15:07 to play. Teams traded baskets over the next several minutes until Memphis' lead rose to 37 midway through the half after a technical foul by Rutgers.
With just over five minutes to go, a tip-in by Craig Brown brought the Scarlet Knights within 34 at 93-59. However, Rutgers would not pull much closer as two free throws by Trey Draper pushed the Tigers over the century mark with 1:26 left to help Memphis record a 101-69 victory.
Memphis shot 59 percent from the field, while holding Rutgers to just 41 percent. The Tigers capitalized off 17 Rutgers turnovers with 32 points coming off the Scarlet Knights' miscues.
Memphis hosts Gonzaga on Saturday in an 8 p.m. (CT) game that will be televised on ESPN. ESPN's College GameDay will be aired live from FedExForum beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and will continue on ESPN at 10.