courtesy University of Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Memphis men’s basketball team (7-3) shot just 36 percent from the floor, but forced 24 turnovers to get a 62-56 win over Lipscomb (5-6) Thursday at FedExForum.
Turnovers and cold shooting haunted both teams in the first half, as both teams combined for 27 first-half turnovers. The Tigers went without a field goal for six and a half minutes and Lipscomb went nearly seven minutes without a basket.
Trailing 10-9 at the 11-minute mark after a basket by Malcolm Smith, Joe Jackson ended the Memphis drought with a three-pointer to put the Tigers up 12-10 with nine minutes to play in the half. An immediate steal by Antonio Barton on the inbounds resulted in another basket for the Tigers for a 14-10 advantage.
Memphis stretched its lead to 16-10 before the Bisons responded with five-straight points to cut the lead to one after a trey from Carter Sanderson and a layup from Martin Smith. Memphis answered with threes from Adonis Thomas and Jackson to increase its lead to 22-15 with just over three minutes to go.
A dunk by Shaq Goodwin gave Memphis a 26-17 advantage with two minutes left in the half, but the Bisons ended the half on a 6-0 run to make the Tigers’ lead just 26-23 at the break. Thomas led Memphis at the half with 11 points while Jackson and Goodwin added six apiece.
Lipscomb began the second half on another 6-0 run to take a 29-26 lead two minutes into the half. A free throw from D.J. Stephens and a bucket from Tarik Black tied the game at 29-all before the Tigers built a seven-point lead at 36-29 with three points from Goodwin and back-to-back buckets from Jackson with 14 minutes left.
A three from Martin Smith ended Lipscomb’s five-minute scoring drought before Geron Johnson sailed through the lane to bring down a one-handed dunk for a 38-32 Memphis lead with 12 minutes to go. However, the Bisons would not go away, making it 39-38 Memphis as the Tigers went without a basket for nearly six minutes before a dunk by Thomas put Memphis up 44-41 with six and a half to play.
The Tigers would get six of its next eight points from the free throw line to go up 52-47 with three minutes remaining. The Bisons would get within three with less than a minute to play, but four free throws from Jackson sealed a win for the Tigers, 62-56.
Thomas led Memphis with 18 points while Jackson (15), Goodwin (11) and Johnson (10) also notched double figures. Chris Crawford set a career-high seven steals while Barton tied a career-high with five. Despite forcing Lipscomb into 24 turnovers, the Tigers were only able to score 13 points from Lipscomb’s errors.
Memphis will be back in action Friday, Dec. 28 when the Tigers take on Oral Roberts for a 7 p.m. contest at FedExForum.