Second Half Woes Doom Tulane in 71-60 Loss at Memphis
Jan. 22, 2013
MEMPHIS - Sophomore Ricky Tarrant scored a team-best 16 points to lead three Green Wave players in double figures, but it was not enough as Memphis took advantage of Tulane's poor shooting and turnover prone second half to down the Wave 71-60 in Conference USA play in front of 15,466 at the FedExForum.
It was a tale of two halves for Tulane (13-6, 1-3 C-USA), which looked unstoppable in the first half and put Memphis (15-3, 4-0 C-USA) on the ropes early with a 15-point lead. TU knocked down 14 field goals, including four three-pointers, and controlled the boards with a 17-11 advantage during the opening stanza.
But the second half was a different story. The Green Wave managed just eight field goals and shot a dismal 28.6 percent from the field. TU also committed 11 turnovers while allowing Memphis to heat up offensively with a 51.7 percent shooting effort in the final 20 minutes. All played a huge part in allowing the Tigers to mount a comeback.
Memphis overcame a six-point halftime deficit and outscored Tulane 16-10 over the first 7:49. Joe Jackson hit a basket while being fouled and knocked down a free throw to complete the conventional three-point play to tie the game at 46-all at the 12:11 minute mark.
Both teams came up empty on back-to-back possessions and the Tigers took the lead for good on a jumper by Tarik Black with 11:28 to play. Tulane managed to stay within striking distance and trailed by just four points following a Davis lay-up at 4:14. But missed shots and turnovers prevented Tulane from getting any closer in the final minutes.
"I'm proud of the guy's effort and I thought we did play well, but my message to our team is that we came up here to get the win and we didn't get it done," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "We're getting better and we have to stay on that track of getting better. Our best basketball has to be ahead of us because tonight at the end of the day it wasn't good enough.
"They (Memphis) are a very talented basketball team and I thought both teams played really hard tonight. It was physical, and I thought we were the more physical team early. There was a stretch there toward the end of the first half where they really started getting into us on cuts under the basket. But then I thought we came out and re-established that a little bit in the second half, and then toward the end, maybe we wore down a bit, but for whatever reason we weren't able to go inside as much as we would like and they started to get the inside scores."
Along with Tarrant, Davis notched a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while sophomore Tre Dry added 10 points.
For Memphis, Geron Johnson led all scorers with 18 points, while Jackson finished with 16 points. Chris Crawford came off the bench to score 14 points, while Black chipped in 10 points.
Tulane stormed out of the gates at the opening tip and never trailed during the first 20 minutes of play. Behind 10 first half points from Tarrant and eight points from senior Kendall Timmons, TU torched the nets early and needed just over four minutes to build a quick nine point lead.
Memphis rallied and pulled to within two points at 13-11 on a dunk by Johnson at the 13:35 mark. But TU reeled off an 11-6 run near the midway point of the half and a Tarrant jumper put the visitors up by 10 at 9:19.
The Wave continued the scoring frenzy and ran its lead to 15 points, its largest of the game, on a dunk by Dry that quieted the home crowd and culminated a 21-8 run. Memphis came alive and whittled down the margin, but Tulane took a 36-30 lead into intermission.
Tulane returns to action at home this Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Green Wave hosts Rice at Devlin Fieldhouse.