DeAndre Williams poured in 26 points and Kendric Davis added 21 to lead the Memphis Tigers to an 86-77 victory over Temple Sunday morning at FedExForum.
The Tigers improved to 19-6 overall and 9-3 in American Athletic Conference play to move into second-place in the league standings.
Williams hauled in his eighth double-double of the year with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while also adding a team-high six assists. Davis recorded four dimes and a game-high four steals to go along with his 21 points. Elijah McCadden dropped 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Jayden Hardaway added 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Memphis shot a season-high 56.7 percent from the floor (34-60). It’s the second-highest field goal percentage for the Tigers over the last three seasons.
Temple (14-12, 8-5 AAC) was hot in the early going, hitting a pair of triples to take a 10-5 advantage before the Tigers reeled off an 11-2 run to go in front for good. Jayden Hardaway spearheaded the spurt with back-to-back 3-pointers.
With two minutes to play before the break, Elijah McCadden drove the lane and finished a tough shot at the rim to give Memphis a seven-point lead, its largest of the half. The Tigers went into the locker room up 36-33.
Williams carried the Tigers offense in the first 20 minutes, pouring in 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting with six rebounds.
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to wake up in the second half. Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu connected on a hookshot and Davis sank his first long ball to spark an 8-0 run out of the locker room that quickly stretched the lead to double-digits.
A few minutes later Memphis grew its lead to as many as 18 points after a 9-0 run that saw three Tigers get buckets in that span, but then it was Temple’s turn.
The Owls made six-straight baskets and pulled to within four after a 16-2 run, but that would be as close as they would get. Williams made back-to-back buckets and then assisted on the next three makes to stretch the lead back out to 12 with less than two minutes to play. Davis iced the game at the line in the final seconds to secure the 86-77 victory.
Temple was led by Khaliff Battle‘s 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
Memphis returns to FedExForum on Thursday against Central Florida at 7 p.m. on ESPN+ for the Coaching for Literacy Game sponsored by International Paper. It is also the Bill Laurie celebration game where 1,000 bobbleheads will be handed out at the gates.
The Tigers then hit the road for a much-anticipated matchup with No. 2 Houston next Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN.