Memphis Cruises Past UCF, 77-61

Jan. 26, 2011

Drew Barham and Tarik Black came up big for Memphis against UCF

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By: Preston McClellan

MEMPHISWill Barton scored 17 points and Joe Jackson added 12 as the Memphis Tigers (16-4; 5-1) turned in a solid all-around performance and sent the UCF Knights to their fifth-straight loss, 77-61, Wednesday night at FedExForum.

“We are 16-4, and I want to say this is a great win for our guys,” Memphis head coach Josh Pastner said. “I am so proud of our defensive effort tonight against a good Central Florida team.”

Barton, playing in front of his father for the first time this season at FedExForum, didn’t disappoint as the freshman wing scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half en route to leading Memphis to a 47-28 opening-half advantage.

When a layup from Knight point guard A.J. Rompza evened the score at 16 with 11:09 to play in the first half, the Tigers responded with a 16-4 run to regain control and take a 32-20 lead.

The Knights responded with a quick 6-0 run of their own, however, and cut the margin to 32-26 with just over four minutes to go before the break. The Tigers finished the half on a 15-2 run, fueled by seven points from Barton and five from Chris Crawford to take a 47-28 halftime lead and effectively put the game out of reach.

Crawford finished with 10 points in the contest as four Tigers mustered double-figures in the victory.Though he fouled out with over eight minutes to play, Tarik Black was a force inside for the Tigers and set the mood early with three blocks in the first five minutes of play.

Black finished with five blocks, a career-high, to complement nine points and four rebounds in 22 minutes on the floor. Antonio Barton, also eager to impress his father, finished with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Sophomore Drew Barham, making his fourth consecutive start, finished with five points, five assists and seven rebounds and seemingly came up with every loose ball when needed.

UCF was led by Marcus Jordan–son of all-time NBA great Michael Jordan. He finished with 13 points, including 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. P.J. Gaynor was the only other Knight to finish in double figures, tallying 10 points in 15 minutes off the bench.

After starting the season 14-0 and climbing to as high as No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, UCF has lost five straight C-USA games and now finds itself in the league’s cellar with a 1-5 record in the conference.

Joe Jackson scored 12 points for the Tigers. conference.

“Give Memphis credit. Those guys are very talented,” UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. “They are playing really well, and offensively they have the ability to score in spurts.”

Memphis now hits the road for a rematch with the Thundering Herd of Marshall in Huntington, W. Va., Saturday at 6 p.m. (CDT). The Tigers defeated the Thundering Herd 77-61 at FedExForum on Jan. 15.

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About pmccllln

21 years young. Senior PR student at the University of Memphis. Student intern for Memphis Athletic Media Relations. www.prestonmcclellan.weebly.com. Follow me @p_mcclellan.

Posted on January 27, 2011, in C-USA Basketball, Memphis Tigers, NCAA Basketball, UCF Knights and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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