Memphis 68, DePaul 55
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Anthony Rice scored 16 points and Duane Erwin added 13 points and nine rebounds Thursday night to lead Memphis to a 68-55 victory over DePaul.
Memphis (11-9, 4-2 Conference USA) didn’t hit a field goal in the final 5:45 but connected on 13 of 19 free throws as DePaul was outscored 22-8 after holding a one-point lead with 8:38 remaining.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Blue Demons (12-5, 4-2).
Jeremy Hunt and Darius Washington scored 11 each for Memphis, with Washington dishing out seven assists.
Sammy Mejia led DePaul with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Quemont Greer had 14 points but hit only five of 19 shots from the field. Drake Diener finished with 12 points for DePaul.
Memphis squandered a 12-point lead in the first half, but held on for a 32-31 advantage at the break. Erwin registered 10 points, hitting 5 of his 7 shots, part of Memphis shooting 52 percent for the half.
DePaul was able to whittle into the Tiger lead with an 11-2 run in the final 3:22 of the half, including making all four of their shots from the field down the stretch. Mejia led the Blue Demons with 11 points. Greer, the conference’s leading scorer, was limited to seven points while missing seven of his 10 first-half shots.
The teams traded leads in the early stages of the second half, neither team holding more than a three-point lead. At one point midway through the second half, both teams went almost five minutes without scoring. Some of that was due to tough defense on both sides, causing turnovers and tough shots.
Memphis erased a 47-46 DePaul advantage with nine unanswered points, to take a 55-48 lead with 5:45 to play when Hunt scored on a layup, the Tigers’ last field goal of the game.