Memphis holds off RutgersFeb 21, 2014 - 5:06 AM Piscataway, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Dixon had 15 points to lead No. 22 Memphis to a 64-59 decision over Rutgers on Thursday.
Joe Jackson had 11 points and five rebounds for the Tigers (20-6, 9-4 AAC), who had dropped an overtime decision to UConn on Saturday. Austin Nichols and Shaq Goodwin each dropped 10.
"We are third in the country in assists and we were fourth last year," said Memphis head coach Josh Pastner. "Tonight we had 16 assists on our 22 made field goals - we came in the game with about 65 percent of shots being assisted. We need to continue to do that and move the ball."
Kadeem Jack had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights (10-17, 4-10), who have lost three straight. Myles Mack gave 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds and Malick Kone gave 10 points and six rebounds.
"I feel we came and finished that with a great effort tonight," said Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan. "Memphis is a top-25 team. We just needed to get our offense going a little more, make a shot, get a little bit more of a run."
The Tigers held a 47-37 lead after Nichols put in a jumper with just under 11 minutes to play, but five straight points later in the half got Rutgers within five after Kone hit one-of-two from the line for a 51-46 game with six minutes to play.
A Jack bucket three minutes later made it a 53-49 game, but Rutgers then missed after a Dixon free throw on other end and two free throws from Dixon moments later made it a 56-49 game.
The Knights kept it close and Mack's 3-pointer cut the deficit to three at 62-59, but Geron Johnson hit his two free throws in the closing seconds to put the game out of reach.
Memphis jumped out to a 12-2 lead as Goodwin's two free throws 3 1/2 minutes in gave the team a double-digit advantage.
It was an 11-point game after Nichols put in a layup to give the Tigers a 24-13 advantage, but the Knights scored the next eight points with Kone putting in a layup for a 24-21 advantage with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Goodwin hit a layup and Dixon put in two from the line to close the scoring in the half and give Memphis a 28-21 lead at the break.
Memphis shot 47.8 percent while Rutgers hit on 37.5 percent of its attempts ... Memphis hosts Temple on Saturday ... Rutgers plays at UCF next Wednesday ... The first ever meeting between these teams took place on Feb. 4, with Memphis taking a 101-69 victory at home.
- MEMPHIS: 64
Feb 20 9:06 PM
- MEMPHIS: 28
Feb 20 7:51 PM
- MEMPHIS: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 20 7:06 PM
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- AP source: Stony Brook's Steve Pikiell is new Rutgers coach Mar 19
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- Jordan fired as Rutgers basketball coach Mar 10