Memphis Rallies to Top Tulane, 71-60
Jan. 22, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis men's basketball team (15-3, 4-0 C-USA) trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half but held Tulane (13-6, 1-3 C-USA) to 29 percent shooting in the second half to rally to a 71-60 win Tuesday night at FedExForum.
Tulane jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the first four minutes of the game on 5-of-8 shooting, including two treys from Ricky Tarrant. Geron Johnson answered for Memphis with a three to cut the Green Wave lead to 13-7. The Tigers continued to trim the Tulane advantage with back-to-back alley oops from Joe Jackson to Johnson to make it 13-11 with 13 minutes remaining.
With Memphis threatening midway through the half, the Green Wave made an 11-3 run over 2:46 to give them a 27-17 lead with nine minutes left in the half. Tulane's fourth three of the half at the 8:25 mark made it 30-17.
Trailing by as many as 15 points, the Tigers began a run late in the half by cutting Tulane's lead down to eight points with a free throw from Shaq Goodwin followed by a steal and layup by Jackson on the inbounds play. Memphis forced a second-straight Tulane turnover on the following play to allow Adonis Thomas to nail a jumper to make it 36-30 Tulane with less than a minute to go. Tulane would attempt a three at the buzzer but a block from Chris Crawford kept the score as it was heading into the half.
Jackson and Johnson led Memphis at the half with seven points apiece while D.J. Stephens led the team on the glass with six rebounds.
Both teams traded baskets in the opening minutes of the second half before the Memphis defense intensified with Crawford intercepting a pass to set up a Johnson layup and cut the Tigers deficit to one.
After a tip-in from Josh Davis to put the Green Wave up 44-41, Jackson answered with a bucket on the other end to bring Memphis within one again. Tulane pushed its lead back to three before Jackson ran coast to coast to force a three-point opportunity. A free throw from Jackson tied the game up at 46-all for the first tie of the game at 12:11.
At the 11:28 mark, the Tigers got their first lead of the contest with a basket down low from Tarik Black to go up 48-46. Memphis increased its lead on the following possession with a layup from Johnson to make it a four-point advantage for the Tigers before Black added three points from the charity stripe to build a seven-point lead for Memphis. The Green Wave responded with four-straight points as Memphis committed three turnovers to get Tulane back in the game.
Johnson and Crawford answered for Memphis with back-to-back threes to give Memphis a 61-54 lead with four minutes to go. The Tigers built a 65-56 advantage but Tulane knocked down a three and forced a foul to make it 65-60 with one minute to play. The Green Wave would not get any closer as Memphis countered with six-straight points to clinch a 71-60 victory.
Johnson led the Tigers with 18 points and contributed five assists and four steals while Jackson added 16 points and four assists. Crawford tallied 14 points on the night with three treys and six assists to lead the team in both categories. Black also hit double figures in scoring with 10 points. Stephens added a strong defensive presence for Memphis with 10 boards and three blocks to help Memphis tie a season-high 11 blocks.
Memphis will return to FedExForum on Saturday when they face Marshall at 1 p.m. (CT) on FOX Sports Net.