Memphis, TN-The Tigers ran away from Central Florida in the second half on their way to a 93-71 victory Wednesday at FedExForum. The Tigers 15th straight win improves them to 21-3 overall, 10-0 in Conference USA.
UCF jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game before the Tigers used a 6-0 run to knot the game up. The Knights retook a 12-8 lead, but D.J. Stephens registered the 100th dunk of his career to give Memphis a 13-12 advantage with 11:51 to play in the half. Stephens and Chris Crawford added two more dunks for the Tigers to help push Memphis’ lead to 19-14 midway through the half.
The Knights answered with a 5-0 run with baskets from Kasey Wilson and Isaiah Sykes to tie it up once again. After two free throws from Stephens, UCF’s third triple of the night gave the Knights another lead at 22-21.
The Tigers went back on top with a jumper from Joe Jackson followed by a trey from Geron Johnson to give Memphis a six-point lead with 5:41 remaining in the half. A three from Calvin Newell brought the Knights back within one, but three-straight baskets from the Tigers put them up 34-27. With just over a minute to go, Jackson pushed Memphis’ lead up to eight with a layup off a steal from Adonis Thomas. The Knights added a bucket right before the buzzer to cut their deficit to six as Memphis went into the half up 42-36.
Johnson led the Tigers at the break with 12 points while Stephens added 10 on 4-of-4 from the floor. Both teams were sharp from the field as Memphis shot 53 percent in the half while UCF was 52 percent from the floor.