Junior Mark Lyons posted 14 points at Memphis.
Feb. 4, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Xavier men's basketball team suffered a 72-68 loss at Memphis Saturday afternoon in front of 17,097 fans at the FedEx Forum. Freshman Dezmine Wells posted a career-high 19 points and senior Kenny Frease earned a double-double on the afternoon. With the loss, Xavier fell to 15-8 overall while Memphis improved to 16-7 on the season.
XU was led by Wells with 19 points on a stellar 8-of-10 from the field. Junior Mark Lyons was second in scoring with 14 on 4-of-9 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Frease posted 10 points and a game-high 10 boards on the night.
Memphis was led by Joe Jackson with 14 points on 12-of-12 from the charity stripe. Will Barton was second for the Tigers with 13.
The Musketeers led through most of the second half but a 17-1 swing by Memphis in the final five minutes did in the Musketeers.
Xavier came out of the gate hitting on all cylinders as the Musketeers went on an 8-0 run to start the half. The Tigers answered with a 6-0 run coming out of the under 16-minute media timeout, but four straight points by Wells gave XU a 48-41 lead with 14:06 left in the game.
Lyons' fastbreak 3-pointer at the 8:25 mark gave XU a 59-49 lead and forced a Memphis timeout.
The Tigers cut the XU lead to six, 62-56, with two free throws by Joe Jackson with 5:24 left to play. Wesley Witherspoon's drive and one with 4:31 left in the game cut Xavier's lead to 63-59.
Antonio Barton's drive and layup with 2:35 left cut the XU lead to just two free throws by Jackson tied the game at 63-all with 2:00 left to play. Antonio Barton struck again with 1:27 left to play to give the Tigers a 65-63 lead. The Tigers never looked back and held on for the win.
The Musketeers held a 35-34 lead at halftime thanks to 11 points from Lyons and 10 points from wells in the first half. Lyon's 11 came off 3-of-5 shooting from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Will Barton led the Tigers in first-half scoring with 10 points on 4-of-7 from the field and 2-of-3 from the line. XU held a 16-14 rebounding edge at intermission.
Wells' cutting layup at the 9:12 mark in the first half snapped a nearly five minute scoring skid by the Musketeers and began an 11-2 run.
The Musketeers return to action Wednesday, February 8 as they return to the friendly confines of Cintas Center to host Atlantic 10 foe Rhode Island. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.