Jan. 12, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis men's basketball team (12-3, 2-0 C-USA) shot 49 percent from the field and recorded 10 blocks to capture a 69-53 win over UAB (8-9, 0-2 C-USA) on Saturday night at Bartow Arena.
UAB struck first with a basket from Fahro Alihodzic before Memphis answered with an 11-0 run three and a half minutes into the game. Adonis Thomas and Shaq Goodwin each recorded six points in the early going for Memphis while D.J. Stephens led the charge on the defensive end with two blocks.
With the Tigers holding a 15-6 advantage, the Blazers put together a small run to cut their deficit to five at the 13:25 mark. Joe Jackson got the Memphis offense back on track with a nice drive to the basket followed by a jumper in the paint from Thomas to put the Tigers back up by nine at 19-10 with 11 minutes remaining in the half.
After a seven-minute drought by the Tigers, Chris Crawford found Stephens under the basket to push Memphis' lead to 21-17 with four minutes to go.
Memphis heated up on both ends of the court in the final minutes of the half as Jackson swiped the ball from Jordan Swing, fell down on the play but kept it alive by pushing the ball out of Swing's reach towards Geron Johnson, which ended in a fast-break dunk to put Memphis up 29-19.
The Tigers kept UAB without a field goal for the final eight and a half minutes of the half to go into the break with a 34-20 lead. Jackson hit double figures for the 11th-straight game with 11 points at the half while Thomas added eight points and eight boards for the Tigers. Stephens continued to show his presence on defense with three blocks at the break.
Both teams traded baskets early in the second half before Memphis opened up a 45-28 lead off a layup from Thomas at the 14:29 mark.
The Blazers cut their deficit back to 13 during a three-minute scoring drought from Memphis, but Thomas answered again for the Tigers to put them up 15 with less than 12 minutes to play. Thomas continued his hot shooting with his third-straight basket for Memphis to push the Tigers' lead to 17. Black and Johnson followed with four points from the charity stripe to give Memphis its largest lead of the night at 19 with eight minutes to play.
The Blazers began chipping away the Memphis lead with a jumper from Rod Rucker to make it 54-40 with six minutes left. After two free throws from Jackson to put Memphis up 16, UAB pulled within 13 with three-straight points from the line.
Thomas ended a seven-minute field goal drought by the Tigers with a basket down low to give Memphis a 60-45 lead with four minutes to go. After a UAB bucket, Jackson knocked down two free throws followed by a three-point play from Thomas to extend the Memphis lead to 64-47.
UAB would hit just two field goals in the final minutes as Memphis sealed a 69-53 victory.
Thomas led Memphis by tying his career-high 19 points and adding nine boards to his efforts. Jackson totaled 17 points for the Tigers while Goodwin and Black each added 10. Black came off the bench to tie a career-high 13 boards while Stephens set a career-high six blocks to help Memphis total 10 on the night.
Memphis faces Rice in Houston on Wednesday, Jan. 16 with a 6 p.m. contest against the Owls. The game will be televised on CSS.