Miami falls to No. 21/20 Memphis
CORAL GABLES, FL (AP) – Sophomore Will Barton had career highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds to help No. 21-ranked Memphis overcome a poor night of outside shooting and beat the Miami Hurricanes 71-54 Tuesday night.
The Tigers, who sank 15 3-pointers in a rout three nights earlier, went 1 for 12 from beyond the arc. They repeatedly worked the ball inside in the second half to pull away.
Memphis (5-2) won its third game in a row. The Hurricanes (5-3) lost in their first game against a ranked team, and the defeat snapped a streak of 27 consecutive non-conference home victories.
Barton shot 12 for 20, including three alley-oop dunks, and he added four steals. Chris Crawford totaled nine points, five assists and four steals. Adonis Thomas had 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who had a 44-37 advantage on the boards.
The Hurricanes raced to a 7-0 lead but cooled off after that and shot just 36 percent. Their point total was a season low.
Miami’s talented guard trio of Durand Scott, Malcolm Grant and Shane Larkin combined for only 22 points. Kenny Kadji had 12 points for the Hurricanes, and Scott and Trey McKinney Jones added 10 apiece.
There were seven lead changes in the first half. The Tigers took a 27-26 lead into the second half and slowly pulled away.
Joe Jackson was 0 for 6 from the field before he sank the Tigers’ only 3-pointer to put them up 40-35.
Crawford fed Barton for scores on consecutive possessions, then made a three-point play that made it 53-46. Stan Simpson’s layup gave the Tigers their first double-digit lead, 59-49, and the Tigers sank eight free throws in the final four minutes to increase their cushion.
The Hurricanes sank consecutive 3-pointers en route to the 7-0 lead. Barton made a steal and dunk for the Tigers’ first basket, then scored on their next two possessions as well.
Barton dunked on an alley-oop pass from Crawford to give the Tigers their first lead, 14-13. The Hurricanes missed eight of their final nine shots in the opening half to fall behind for good.
Kenny Kadji blocked a career-high four shots tonight against Memphis. His previous career-high was three blocks on Dec. 3, 2011 against UMass.
The Canes held Memphis to 8.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Miami (5-3) lost to its first nationally ranked opponent of the season in No. 21/20 Memphis (5-2). Miami is 42-122 all-time against ranked teams. The Canes’ last victory over a ranked team was on Feb. 10, 2010 vs. No. 20/20 Georgia Tech.
Miami trails the all-time series with Memphis 5-8, and now the Hurricanes are 3-3 in the last six meetings.
Head coach Jim Larranaga has posted a 475-347 overall record and holds a 448-311 record in D-I games in his 28th year. Coach L was also the head coach of D-II American International for two years.
Malcolm Grant has made a three-pointer in 31-straight games dating back to the Dec. 30, 2009 outing against Pepperdine.
Senior guard Malcolm Grant scored double digits the Canes’ first seven games, the only Hurricane to notch at least 10 points in each of those games. His five points against Memphis ended the streak.
The Hurricanes had won 27 consecutive non-conference games at the BankUnited Center before playing Memphis and have now defeated 42 of their last 46 non-conference opponents at home.
Miami will play four-straight games on the ESPN body of networks as the Canes played at Purdue on ESPN2 (Nov. 29), against UMass on ESPNU (Dec. 3), and against Memphis (Dec. 6) and then hits the road for the game at West Virginia (Dec. 10) on ESPN2.