MEMPHIS –

 In a game that took nearly three hours with 49 fouls called, the Memphis Tigers outlasted Texas A&M Saturday night to earn an 83-79 victory inside FedEx Forum.

The Tigers improved to 9-3 overall and picked up their fourth win over a Southeastern Conference opponent, while the Aggies dropped to 6-4.

Kendric Davis led Memphis with 23 points and a game-high nine assists, while going 14-of-16 at the free throw line.

DeAndre Williams scored all 15 of his points in the second half after sitting much of the first period with foul trouble. He was 6-of-7 shooting with two steals and a pair of blocks.

Johnathan Lawson showed up big, tying his career high with 10 points after going 3-of-3 from long range.

The Tigers found themselves in hole out of the gate, but Damaria Franklin wasted no time getting the team going. He grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for tough layup for his first points inside the Forum, and then skyed from the baseline to finish off an alley-oop from Alex Lomax to energize his teammates and the Tiger faithful in the stands.

Midway through the first half with Memphis down three, Johnathan Lawson stepped up and nailed three triples in the span of four minutes to lift the Tigers in front 29-20 with 9:33 on the clock.

A couple minutes later, back-to-back buckets from Elijah McCadden spearheaded an 8-0 run that gave the Tigers their largest advantage of the game at 37-24. Late in the half, Franklin picked A&M’s pocket and Davis buried a midrange jumper on the other end to send Memphis into the locker room with a 36-45 lead.

Despite hitting just 4-of-12 from long distance in the opening 20 minutes, the Tigers shot 53.1 percent from the floor overall after converting on 13-of-20 from inside the arc. With 11 points, Davis led a group of five Tigers that recorded six or more points in the half.

In the second half, neither team could find much rhythm, leaving both sides out of sort offensively. Texas A&M dominated the glass in the final 20 minutes, outrebounding the Tigers 22-6, which led to a 12-2 advantage in second-chance points.

The Aggies battled and eventually jumped back in front at 69-68, its first lead since 12:32 in the first half when it was 18-17. Williams, however, made a pair of clutch buckets and scored six straight points to quickly push Memphis back in front, 74-69.

The final two minutes were back-and-forth with Texas A&M pulling to within two, but Elijah McCadden deposited a second-chance bucket and Davis drained a pair at the free throw line to seal the 83-79 victory.
Memphis shot a season high 55.8 percent from the floor, going 29-of-52 overall. Texas A&M finished the night 22-of-58 (37.9%). It was the sixth opponent Memphis has held to under 40 percent shooting in a game this season.

Wade Taylor IV poured in a game-high 25 points with four three-pointers and a 9-for-10 night at the stripe for the Aggies.

Memphis is back in action Wednesday, Dec. 21 for a 7 p.m. matchup in the Forum with Alabama State. It will be the final nonconference game for the Tigers.


GAME NOTES

  • Memphis led for 30:56 on the night and Texas A&M held the advantage for 5:06.
  • Kendric Davis‘ nine assists are a season high for the senior. He has five or more helpers in seven of the 12 games this season.
  • Damaria Franklin had an impressive FedEx Forum debut with nine points, a team-high six rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes off the bench.
  • Chandler Lawson also added nine points and five rebounds in 27 minutes. He was 4-of-5 shooting.
  • Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu finished with a season high seven points and grabbed three rebounds with three blocks in 14 minutes.
  • Memphis controlled the paint 38-28 and scored 32 points off the bench, its second most of the season.
  • The Tigers finished 20-of-30 from the free throw line, its most of the season.