No. 20/22 Memphis Pulls Away Late from UCF for 76-70 Win
February 13, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
MEMPHIS PRESS RELEASE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A 20-6 run through the latter part of the second half propelled the No. 20/22 University of Memphis men's basketball team (19-5, 8-3 American) to a 76-70 win over UCF (9-13, 1-10 American) on Wednesday night at FedExForum.
Joe Jackson led Memphis with 18 points while adding five rebounds and five assists. Shaq Goodwin totaled 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting and a team-high six boards. Chris Crawford and Michael Dixon Jr. also notched double figures with 10 points apiece.
Tristan Spurlock scored 18 points and added 10 boards to lead UCF. Isaiah Sykes (14) and Kasey Wilson (10) also reached double digits for the Knights.
UCF held a 16-13 advantage eight minutes into the game before a layup by Jackson began a 16-0 run for the Tigers over the next 5:06 to give Memphis a 29-16 lead.
A tip-in by Nick King put the Tigers on top at 17-16 before Crawford connected from long range to push the lead to 20-16 midway through the half. Back-to-back buckets from Goodwin followed by a three-pointer from Crawford extended the Memphis lead to 27-16 before a King bucket capped off the run.
A jumper by Sykes ended the Memphis spurt at the 6:17 mark and began a run by the Knights. Wilson chipped in four points for UCF as the Knights pulled within 29-26 with 3:08 remaining in the half.
Jackson ended the UCF run with a layup to stretch Memphis' lead to five before knocking down a three to make it 34-27 with less than two minutes to play in the period. Spurlock answered on the other end with a triple of his own before a jumper at the buzzer by David Pellom gave the Tigers a 36-30 lead at the break.
Austin Nichols pushed Memphis' lead to eight right out of the locker room, but the Knights responded with a 9-0 run after five points by Sykes to take a 39-38 advantage with 15 minutes left in the game.
Teams traded baskets over the next several minutes until a three by Crawford gave the Tigers a three-point lead at 51-48 with 9:07 to play. A layup by Goodwin made it a 53-48 game, but UCF kept it close with baskets from Justin McBride and Wilson to pull the Knights within a point.
After a missed free throw by Goodwin, Jackson came down with a big offensive rebound and putback to draw a foul and extend the Tigers' lead to 57-52. Pellom then came up with another offensive board off Jackson's missed free throw before Dixon Jr. drove the baseline to make it a 59-52 contest with 4:42 left.
Memphis pushed the lead to 14 with two minutes to play before the Knights began trimming their deficit. A three-point play by Wilson and a turnover by the Tigers turned into another bucket by UCF to help the visitors within nine. The Knights got within six after another Memphis turnover allowed UCF to score two more on the other end with 27 seconds left on the clock. However, the Knights would not get any closer as Memphis held on for the 76-70 victory.
The Tigers hit the road Saturday to take on No. 24 UConn at 11 a.m. (CT) in Hartford. The game will be televised on ESPN.