Will Barton leads Memphis past Tulane 82-64By BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012
Tarik Black added 18 points and Chris Crawford 13 for the Tigers (19-7, 9-2 Conference USA), who trailed by four points early in the second half before dominating the final 15 minutes to win for the 13th time in their last 15 games.
Ricky Tarrant had 20 points and Josh Davis 19 for Tulane (15-10, 3-8), which hurt itself with 20 turnovers that Memphis converted into 28 points. Tulane shot 46 percent, normally a solid figure but not good enough to keep pace with Memphis’ 62 percent shooting (34 of 55). Memphis dominated inside, outscoring Tulane 58-28 in the paint.
Joe Jackson and Wesley Witherspoon each scored 10 for Memphis. Witherspoon also had four steals, while Crawford had five. Barton also had nine rebounds and seven assists.
Tulane led 45-41 on Jordan Callahan’s 3 early in the second half. Callahan whipped his fist across the front of his body as he and the crowd roared in celebration, sensing an upset could be in the cards.
That’s when Jackson’s layup ignited a 16-1 Memphis run during which Tulane went more than five minutes without a field goal.
Barton twice scored on fast-break layups after turnovers, once as he was fouled for a three-point play. Black added three baskets inside, the last capping the run and putting Memphis up 57-46.
Tulane didn’t fold right away, scoring the next six points, highlighted by Tarrant’s fourth 3, to pull within five points, and the Wave kept its deficit in single digits until Barton’s floater with a little under 5 minutes to go sparked an 11-2 run that included his alley-oop dunk, which made it 75-59 and left little doubt about the result.
Tarrant had 15 of his points in the opening 20 minutes, and his third 3 of the game, set up by a kick-out from Davis to the right corner, put Tulane in front 29-26.
Davis also had double-digit points in the first half, scoring 11 on an array of strong drives. He and Tarrant scored all but seven of Tulane’s points in the first half, but that was good enough for the Wave to take a narrow 33-32 lead into halftime.