Saturday, January 9, 2016

#23 Connecticut 81, Tigers 78

Posted By on Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 8:33 PM

For the second straight Saturday, the Tigers battled a Top-25 team to the final minutes on the road. And for the second straight Saturday, they came up short. Tonight in Storrs, Connecticut, Avery Woodson gave Memphis a 75-74 lead with a three-pointer from the left corner with 51 seconds to play. But the Huskies drew fouls on their next two possessions and made all four free throws (two by Sterling Gibbs and two by Daniel Hamilton). Trahson Burrell missed a jumper and Woodson missed a three-point attempt that would have tied the score at 78. A desperation heave by Dedric Lawson missed its mark as time expired.
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The loss drops Memphis to 10-5 for the season (1-1 in American Athletic Conference play), while UConn improves to 11-4 (2-1).

Senior forward Shaq Goodwin picked up two fouls in the game's first four minutes and watched the rest of the first half from the Tiger bench. (This after serving a suspension and missing the Tigers' win over Nicholls State four days ago.) He dominated much of the second half and finished with 23 points before fouling out with just over a minute to play. Lawson also battled foul trouble, finishing with 10 points but making only four of 13 attempts from the field.

Gibbs led the way for UConn with 26 points, draining five of seven shots from long range. Rodney Purvis added 13 and Hamilton 12. As a team, the Huskies hit nine of 19 three-pointers (47 percent) and shot 43 percent overall.

Ricky Tarrant Jr. scored 15 points for the Tigers and Burrell added 17 off the bench. The Tigers kept in the game by hitting 84 percent of their free throws (26 for 31) and winning the rebound battle, 32-26. The case could be made the Tigers' three most impressive outings this season have been losses, against Oklahoma, South Carolina, and now the Huskies.

The Tigers return to FedExForum Wednesday night to host Temple and will host USF next Saturday.

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