Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tigers 79, Temple 69

Posted By on Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Having completed the program's best 48 hours in recent memory, the Memphis Tigers should return comfortably to the Top 20 when the new AP rankings are released Monday.

This afternoon in Philadelphia, Memphis trailed at halftime (37-36) and survived a 24-point outburst by the Owls' Dalton Pepper to win its 12th game of the season, a happy encore to the upset of national champion Louisville Thursday night. Spurred by three three-pointers midway through the second half — two by Michael Dixon and one by Chris Crawford — the 24th-ranked Tigers enjoyed a 15-4 run to pull away and improve to 3-0 on the road in American Athletic Conference play.

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A Pepper three-pointer pulled the Owls within six (73-67) with 2:16 to play, but the reserve center David Pellom came to the rescue on the next Tiger possession with an offensive rebound and layup. Memphis pulled down 16 offensive rebounds in the game, offsetting tremendous outside shooting by Temple (8 for 16 from three-point range). The Tigers distributed the ball well, with 21 assists on 30 made field goals.

Sophomore Shaq Goodwin led the Tigers with a career-high 23 points and 11 rebounds, continuing his renaissance after a disappointing freshman season. Joe Jackson added 10 points (all after halftime) and Chris Crawford flirted with a triple double: 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. Michael Dixon scored 15 points and picked up five assists off the Memphis bench.

Now 12-3, the Tigers will host their next four games at FedExForum: Connecticut (January 16), LeMoyne-Owen (January 18), Houston (January 23), and USF (January 26).

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