Cincinnati, OH-The 19th ranked Memphis Tigers rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half, but came up just short in a 64-62 loss to Xavier that snapped the Tigers’ 18-game winning streak.
A three-point play from Geron Johnson pulled Memphis to 37-31 with 13 minutes to play. However, Xavier added two quick baskets to bring their lead back to double figures.
An 8-0 run by the Tigers brought them back within two as Johnson and Crawford drilled buckets from behind the arc. Xavier answered with a layup by Philmore to go up four before another triple from Crawford pulled Memphis within one with 8:21 to play.
After a Xavier bucket, Johnson kept Memphis’ hot shooting going with a three-pointer to knot the game up at 47-all. Semaj Christon connected on his third-straight basket for Xavier to bring the Musketeers back on top before Johnson knocked down another trey to give Memphis its first lead of the game at 50-49.
The Tigers extended their lead to three off a Tarik Black dunk at the 4:52 mark. The Musketeers regained the lead with a three from Jeff Robinson to go up two, but Stephens answered on the other end with a trey to push Memphis back on top at 55-53 with 3:27 left.
A three from Redford pushed Xavier ahead by one before stretching its lead to three with one minute remaining. Memphis got back within one with two free throws from Jackson and had an opportunity to take the lead, but a missed three put the game back in Xavier’s hands as the Musketeers hit two free throws for a 63-59 advantage.
Johnson scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half to lead Memphis while Jackson added 11 and Crawford totaled 10. Xavier scored 18 of its points on second chance opportunities while holding the Tigers to just four points. Memphis shot 41 percent from the field compared to Xavier’s 38 percent, but was 33 percent (6-18) from the charity stripe while the Musketeers collected 15 points from the line.