MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis men’s basketball team (4-2) put together its best offensive outing of the season and stifling defense to get past UT Martin (2-5), 93-65, Thursday night at FedExForum.
Memphis had 26 assists on 36 made field goals marking the highest total by the team since the 2010-11 season when the Tigers compiled 29 the last time they played the Skyhawks.
With the game knotted at eight in the opening minutes of the game, the Tigers began a 13-3 run over the next 2:18 to get some distance from the Skyhawks. During the Tigers’ spurt, a one-handed dunk by Adonis Thomas from Joe Jackson highlighted the Memphis run followed by a fast break layup from Shaq Goodwin gave the Tigers a 21-11 lead with 13:38 remaining in the half.
After the Skyhawks cut the Memphis lead back to six, the Tigers extended their lead to 14 with back-to-back threes from Chris Crawford to put Memphis up 31-17 with six and a half minutes to go in the half.
UT Martin continued to stay in contention with a three from Justin Childs to bring them within nine at 34-25 with four minutes to go in the half. That would be the closest the Skyhawks would get the rest of the way as Memphis ended the half with three-straight from long range, including a three at the buzzer by Crawford, to go into the half leading 47-30.
Crawford led the Tigers at the break with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Goodwin added 11 and Jackson totaled nine.
Memphis opened up the second half on an 11-3 run as Antonio Barton gave the Tigers a 56-33 lead with a trey from the corner at the 15:49 mark. The Tigers continued to run away with it as Barton connected on his second trey of the night followed by a Geron Johnson steal and dunk to give Memphis a 70-37 advantage with just over 12 minutes to play.
Goodwin came alive in the second half as the freshman recorded his first double-double of his career, grabbing six rebounds in the first seven minutes of the second half to get his 10th rebound of the game. Johnson reached double figures in scoring for the first time as a Tiger with a jumper at the 9:40 mark for his 11th point of the game to put Memphis up 78-41.
UT Martin put together a 14-0 run late in the half to bring it to 83-56 with less than five minutes to play. However, the Skyhawks would only get within 24 as Damien Wilson added two buckets and Ferrakohn Hall and Trey Draper connected on two free throws apiece to give Memphis a 93-65 win.
Goodwin led the Tigers with a career-high 17 points and 12 rebounds, including five on the offensive side. Thomas totaled 15 for the Tigers while Crawford (14), Jackson (13) and Johnson (13) also reached double digits.
The Tigers finished the game shooting 52 percent compared to the Skyhawks’ 35 percent in addition to recording season-highs in assists (26) and blocks (8). Memphis will continue its seven-game homestand Wednesday, Dec. 5, when the Tigers welcome Ohio to the FedExForum for a 6 p.m. contest.