Memphis slips past Tennessee StateJan 3, 2011 - 2:14 AM Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Antonio Barton posted 24 points as No. 21 Memphis escaped a challenge from Tennessee State, 91-86, at FedEx Forum.
Tarik Black added 22 points and Will Barton contributed 19 and eight rebounds for the Tigers (11-2), who have won two in a row since losing to Georgetown.
"That game was unreal. These types of games make me want to retire at the end of the year," said Memphis head coach Josh Pastner. "We have to give Tennessee State a lot of credit because they shot the daylights out of the ball.
Kenny Moore picked up 22 points for Tennessee State (6-8), which saw their five-game win streak halted. Wil Peters added 17 and seven assists, while Robert Covington chipped in with 16 in a losing cause.
Memphis didn't go ahead for good until there was just 2:34 remaining, as Antonio Barton drained a three to make it 82-79.
Moore followed with a layup, but Wesley Witherspoon's deuce restored the three-point edge and his free throw put the home Tigers ahead 85-81 with 1:11 to play.
Antonio Barton went to the line and hit both his attempts to stretch the edge to six, but Peters followed with two of his own, then Moore hit from long distance with 22 ticks left to get TSU within 87-86.
The visitors were forced to foul, and Barton sank two more at the charity stripe, and after a missed trey from Jacquan Nobles, Antonio dished ahead to Will for a slam to make it 91-86.
Peters missed a long desperation shot in the waning seconds.
"We couldn't quite take care of them on the inside, from a defensive perspective," noted TSU head coach John Cooper. "Tarik Black just gave us problems the whole game. Every time they needed a bucket, they were able to get something from him."
Tennessee State led by as many as eight early in the first half, and never let Memphis emerge with a lead. The hosts tied the score 26-26 on a three from Joe Jackson, and managed to forge a 43-43 deadlock at the break after a three- point play from Black.
The lead changed hands several times early in the second half, and the visiting Tigers did get separation again and extended their edge as high as 69-61 with 9:21 to go on a Nobles jumper.
A 13-4 Memphis run ensued which saw the home school take a 74-73 lead with 5:09 remaining after a trey from Antonio, then the teams locked horns again for the next 2 1/2 minutes.
Memphis has won all eight meetings...Tennessee State connected on 12-of-24 from beyond the arc, and shot exactly 50 percent from the field in both halves to keep in the contest...Memphis' Chris Crawford led all players with nine assists...Jackson finished with six points and dished out eight helpers...TSU's Michael Green posted a game-best four steals.
- TENNESSEE STATE: 86
Jan 2 5:16 PM
- TENNESSEE STATE: 43
Jan 2 3:51 PM
- TENNESSEE STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 2 3:06 PM
- Tubby Smith adds 4 assistants to his Memphis coaching staff May 10
- Memphis hires Tubby Smith as Tigers' new basketball coach Apr 14
- Memphis reviewing possible AD, coach conflict of interest Mar 22
- Josh Pastner to stay at Memphis despite missing NCAAs again Mar 18
- Wofford wallops ETSU 87-73 as Collins scores 24 Jan 28
- American Athletic Conference suspends Memphis' Shaq Goodwin Jan 5
- Guyn's 26 lead E. Tennessee St. in 103-90 win over Green Bay Nov 17
- Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen gets 2-year extension Oct 8
- Moore leads No. 21 SMU over Memphis Feb 27
- SMU and Memphis collide in AAC action Feb 26
- No. 3 Gonzaga routs Memphis Feb 1
- Memphis hits road to challenge No. 3 Gonzaga Jan 31