Sunday, January 12, 2020

#21 Tigers 68, USF 64

Posted By on Sun, Jan 12, 2020 at 5:37 PM

There are must-win games, now and then, over the course of a college basketball season. Less celebrated are the "must-not-lose" games. Memphis face one of these Sunday afternoon at South Florida and, thanks to a second-half comeback that erased a 14-point deficit, secured the victory and ended a two-game losing streak.
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Precious Achiuwa
took a pass from Alex Lomax on a pick-and-roll and dunked the ball from the left side to a break a 61-61 tie with 1:51 left to play in the game. Neither team would make another field goal, but the Tigers hit five of eight shots from the free-throw line to clinch the win and improve to 13-3 for the season (2-1 in the American Athletic Conference). Achiuwa notched his fifth straight double-double (and ninth for the season) with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Tyler Harris came off the bench and scored 17 points.

The Tigers trailed by eight points (37-29) at halftime and 14 (51-37) with just over 13 minutes left in the contest. But the Bulls went ice-cold from the field for the balance of the game, allowing Memphis to survive a game in which it compiled more turnovers (22) than assists (16).

David Collins led the Bulls (8-9, 1-3) with 24 points, but had a late shot blocked by Achiuwa with the Tigers clinging to a four-point lead.

Tiger coach Penny Hardaway changed sixty percent of his starting lineup, replacing Damion Baugh, Boogie Ellis, and Isaiah Maurice with Lomax, Malcolm Dandridge, and Lester Quinones. Quinones scored 13 points in 22 minutes of action.

The Tigers return to play Thursday night when they face Cincinnati (10-6) at FedExForum. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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