Tigers Tame Cougars, 69-58
By: Preston McClellan
After dropping a 67-52 decision on the road to Rice on Saturday, the Tigers were looking to rebound against a Houston team that had lost seven of its last eight games coming in. Memphis did just that as the Tigers received double-digit scoring efforts from four different players and 24 points from the bench.
Tarik Black led the way on the inside for the Tigers, scoring 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Wesley Witherspoon added 13 points as Memphis outscored Houston 30-22 in the paint and forced the Cougars into 16 miscues.
Carmouche and Barton finished with 12 points and 10 points, respectively as the duo came up with the clutch shots to seal the game at the end. After two free throws from Kirk Van Slyke narrowed the Tigers; lead to 57-55 with 4:44 to play, Carmouche took a pass on the right wing and buried the triple to put Memphis up 60-55.
Black missed a layup on the next Memphis possession, but Barton tracked down the long offensive rebound before gathering himself and making his only triple of the night. Barton’s shot put the Tigers ahead 63-55 with 1:58 to play, and the Tigers made free throws down the stretch to ice the victory.
Memphis finished the game 22-of-49 (44.9 percent) from the floor, including 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from long range. The Tigers outrebounded the Cougars 34-25, including 24-10 in the second half.
“Defensively, we did some good things,” Pastner said. “We held them to 36 percent shooting. Again that’s good.”
The Tigers now move to 25-12 all-time against Houston. The Cougars haven’t beaten Memphis in the Bluff City since a 76-73 win on Feb. 16, 2002 at the Pyramid. The victory was also Pastner’s 45th at the U of M, putting him one behind Larry Finch for second-most in a coach’s first two seasons.
Memphis moves back into a share of first position in the C-USA standings with the win. The Tigers next test comes on the road against UTEP (20-7; 8-4 C-USA) in what will be a pivotal matchup in determining seeding for the C-USA tournament in El Paso March 11-14. Game time on Feb. 19 is set for 2 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.
Posted on February 23, 2011, in C-USA Basketball, Houston Cougars, Josh Pastner, Memphis Tigers, NCAA, NCAA Basketball and tagged c-usa, conference usa, houston cougars, memphis basketball, memphis tigers, NCAA, tiger hoops. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.