Hall of Famer Jerry West would cringe if Tiger freshman Antonio Barton were to adopt the nickname "Mr. Clutch," but based on Barton's last two games, perhaps borrowing the moniker would be palatable.
The younger of Memphis' Barton brothers took a pass from his older brother Will and drained a three-pointer from the right side with three seconds left tonight in Orlando to give the Tigers their second straight road win. After hitting what proved to be the game-winner against Gonzaga last Saturday, Antonio can add tonight's heroics to his first-year highlight reel. The Tigers improve to 18-6 and 6-3 in Conference USA. The tough-luck Knights have now dropped eight consecutive games (two of them to Memphis) after winning their first 14 of the season.
Memphis led by eight in the first half and trailed by seven midway through the second half in a game that swung with the three-point shooting of each team. Isaac Sosa hit four treys for UCF and led the Knights with 14 points. Antonio Barton also drained four from long-distance and finished with 14 points, one less than his brother. Tarik Black added 11 points and five blocked shots for Memphis. Will Barton also had seven rebounds and five assists.
The Tigers finished a stretch in which five of seven games were on the road (Memphis won four of them). They return to FedExForum Saturday for a showdown with Southern Miss (tip-off is at 5 pm). Memphis beat the Golden Eagles, 76-75, on January 19th.