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UConn Drops 70-61 Decision to Memphis

Jan. 5, 2017

Final Stats |  USATSI Photo Gallery 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The second-half Memphis lead swelled to enough that the Tigers were able to weather not one, but two UConn runs of consecutive points down the stretch.

Even with those rallies, Memphis was able to easily hold on for a 70-61 win over the Huskies on Thursday night, extending UConn's losing skid to four straight.

''We're 5-9 (overall, 0-3 American Athletic Conference) and our feelings aren't good right now,'' UConn coach Kevin Ollie said.

Markel Crawford had 19 points and eight rebounds for Memphis, while Dedric Lawson added his 12th double-double with 15 points and 11 boards. Lawson also had six assists and three steals.

Jimario Rivers finished with 16 for the Tigers (11-4, 1-1), who shot 47.5 percent (29 of 61).

The Tigers built a double-digit lead early in the second half before extending the advantage to 20 with 7:10 left. UConn never really threatened the rest of the way, despite separate spurts of seven straight and eight consecutive points.

Rodney Purvis and Vance Jackson led the Huskies with 14 points apiece. Amida Brimah had nine points and 15 rebounds, including five offensive boards.

The Memphis lead reached double digits late in the first half before the Tigers carried a 32-24 lead into the break. After Crawford scored the first basket of the second UConn never got closer than nine.

''I thought it was outstanding defense,'' Memphis coach Tubby Smith said. ''We did some good things. We shared the basketball. We took care of the basketball the right way.''

Memphis committed a season-low four turnovers.

The Huskies shot 37.9 percent (25 of 66) from the field, including 4 of 20 from outside the arc, and committed 15 turnovers.

''It's our Achilles heel - shooting from the outside and 15 turnovers,'' Ollie said.

Crawford connected on 5 of 7 shots in the first half, including his only 3-point attempt, as Memphis shot 48 percent from the field. Crawford made 9 of 12 overall and Rivers hit 7 of 9.

''Markel Crawford did whatever he wanted to do,'' Ollie said. ''He felt no pressure from our guards. We have to do a better job. We can't feel sorry for ourselves.''


UConn: Returns home Sunday after a three-game road trip to face Central Florida.