MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Joe Jackson scored 16 points and Chris Crawford hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining as Memphis won its 10th straight with a 73-72 victory over Marshall on Saturday afternoon.
Crawford’s free throws were followed by a 3-pointer by Marshall’s DeAndre Kane as the horn sounded. It wasn’t enough as the Thundering Herd (9-11, 2-3 Conference USA) dropped their third game in the last four.
Adonis Thomas added 15 points while Shaq Goodwin chipped in 11 for Memphis (16-3, 5-0). Jackson also had five assists.
Kane led the Thundering Herd with 22 points, converting nine of his 18 shots, while D.D. Scarver, who helped key Marshall’s second-half rally, finished with 20. Dennis Tinnon had nine points and nine rebounds for the Herd.
Marshall never led in the game, but stayed within striking distance through much of the second half.
Marshall’s first half was much better than the disaster of their last game— a 102-46 loss at Southern Mississippi on Wednesday, where they trailed by as many as 40 before intermission.
Memphis shot 54.2 percent (13 of 24) in the first half Saturday but could manage only a 38-33 lead. Thomas, who has struggled offensively in recent games, had 12 points in the frame.
Kane led the Herd with 11 points, missing only two of his seven shots. He was the only Marshall player connecting with any accuracy, as the Herd shot 13 of 32 (40.6 percent), including 3 of 11 (27.3 percent) from 3-point range.
Memphis built the lead to double digits with eight unanswered points, capped by an offensive rebound and put-back from Tarik Black.
But Marshall answered with its own 13-3 rally to erase the Tigers’ lead. Kane had a couple of baskets and Scarver added a 3-pointer.
The game remained close as Memphis suffered through foul problems, and Marshall continued to chip away at the lead.
Scarver had seven early points in the half, and his 3-pointer pulled Marshall within 49-47.
While Memphis didn’t relinquish the lead, it never created much of a buffer either, holding the lead at five to seven points through the middle stages of the second half.
Marshall was able to stay close by taking the ball to the rim, creeping within four points on several occasions.
Then Elijah Pittman scored inside with 3:10 left and Marshall trailed only 66-64. Less than a minute later, Scarver connected on a three and the Thundering Herd was within 68-67.
Memphis still held a 71-69 lead, but Geron Johnson missed two free throws with 20.5 seconds left, giving Marshall a chance.
Pittman’s 3-pointer with 4 seconds left was short, leaving Marshall no choice but to foul. Crawford hit both of the ensuing free throws, enough of a lead for Memphis to allow the uncontested 3-pointer by Kane at the end.