Tigers beat Tulsa, win C-USA outright

On Dec. 22, there was a team meeting, because the University of Memphis was 6-5. The Tigers were not, by most accounts, supposed to incur five losses before Christmas. Not this season.

On Dec. 22, there was a team meeting, because the University of Memphis was 6-5. The Tigers were not, by most accounts, supposed to incur five losses before Christmas. Not this season.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner and his players took a long, hard look at themselves and concluded that over the next 20 games, the Tigers should lose no more than three games.

This, of course, didn't take into account the fact that two starters in Charles Carmouche and Adonis Thomas would be sidelined for the majority of that stretch with injuries.

Still, here were the Tigers on March 3, leading Tulsa by as many as 25 points and ultimately winning the Conference USA regular season title, 78-66, on the Golden Hurricane's home floor. The Tigers closed the season as winners of 17 of their last 20.

Finishing with a conference record of 13-3, it was the first time under Pastner that the Tigers have won the C-USA regular season outright. Sophomore guard Will Barton scored a career-high 30 points and became the latest Tiger to score 1,000 for his career.

The Tigers started the game employing relentless defense, but let up after sophomore forward Tarik Black exited the game with over six minutes left in the first half after picking up two fouls.

Memphis led 37-34 at halftime.

The Tigers sieged the Golden Hurricane during an 18-3 surge to open up the second half, and Tulsa never recovered.

With the win, Memphis clinched the top spot in the C-USA tournament next week and will play either UTEP or Houston. The Tigers lost at home to the Miners, 60-58, last month.


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