SMU Falls to Memphis 76-63

After SMU's shocking 70-60 win over Memphis almost a month ago, it was expected that the Tigers would come out for revenge over the Mustangs.

After SMU's shocking 70-60 win over Memphis almost a month ago, it was expected that the Tigers would come out for revenge over the Mustangs. With Memphis battling UTEP for first place in Conference USA, they cannot afford to lose any other games – just as SMU can't lose any more if they want improve their seed in the conference tournament. Unfortunately, Memphis got their way, while SMU fell for the third time in the past four games.

Memphis started the game of quick, building a 17 point lead with 8:31 left in the first half. Mouhammad Faye once again led the team in scoring, with nine points coming in the first half. He struggled a little with protecting the ball after suffering three turnovers in the first half. Derek Williams didn't shoot great in the first half, going 2 for 6 from the field, and only scoring five points in the first twenty minutes. Memphis was jumpstarted by Elliot Williams, who was the only scorer in double figures at the end of the first half.

After cutting the lead to ten at half, Memphis flew out of the gates, increasing their lead to 24 with 12:49 remaining in the game. But SMU kept chipping at the lead, and managed to cut it all the way down to eight with 3:11 remaining. But from that point on, Memphis showed why they are one of the top teams in the C-USA as they converted their free throws, and never let SMU back in it.

"We did show a lot of fight and I was proud of our guys for that. Memphis really shot the ball extremely well and some of that was our fault. I thought that was a big part of the game since they went 15 of 30 from the three point line," said Coach Matt Doherty. "I don't think that is going to happen every night, but our defense broke down a little bit because we didn't get to the shooters early and then their points off turnovers killed us. We didn't turn the ball over a lot, but when we did, they converted. I thought those two areas were areas we didn't do a good job. If I would say a third, it would be we didn't get to the foul line. We only got to the foul line 12 times and only made seven. We are better than that."

Faye scored 18 points, giving him four straight games in double figures. After scoring 20 points last game against Rice, Williams shot a measly 5-12 from the field, scoring 11 points, his lowest total since his eight points against UTEP. The Mustangs finished with 11 turnovers, compared to Memphis' seven turnovers. SMU's big guys, Papa Dia and Mouhammad Faye, were responsible for six of the eleven turnovers. One positive was that Papa Dia posted a double-double – his first since February 6 against Tulane.

SMU split the season series against Memphis, something that is an accomplishment within itself for the Mustangs. With the conference tournament shortly starting up, SMU (12-14,5-7) needs to bounce back with a win over ECU, and hopefully win their next four games.

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