MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis used its athleticism to finally pull away from Loyola (MD) in the second half.
Joe Jackson had 22 points and seven assists, Shaq Goodwin scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half and Memphis eventually secured a 78-64 victory over Loyola (MD) on Sunday night.
Jackson connected on 5 of 6 from the field, including both shots from long range, and was 10 of 12 from the free throw line as Memphis (9-3) won its third straight. Goodwin was also 5 of 6 from the field, while Geron Johnson added 10 points for the Tigers.
“We are more athletic than them,” Jackson said of a second-half rally that put the game away. “An athletic team, if you keep going and keep going, you’re going to eventually get them. That’s all we did. D.J. (Stephens) got a couple of great blocks and that changed the momentum of the game. We got fast breaks, got lobs, and dunks. Just things like that were going to help us boost that lead up.”
Dylon Cormier led the Greyhounds (9-5) with 25 points, connecting on 10 of 20 shots. Erik Etherly had 15 points and nine rebounds, while Robert Olson finished with 11 points. Etherly and Olson, however, were a combined 10 of 31, including Olson missing six of his seven shots from outside the arc.
“Those are our big three,” Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos said. “They hung in there. We don’t have that fourth of fifth player like (the Tigers) do.”
Memphis broke the game open with 11 unanswered points in the second half. Until that point, the game had been close, although Loyola never seemed to get enough momentum to take the lead.
“That’s a good win,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. “That’s a good team we played. An NCAA Tournament team. Extremely well coached. They played hard. There’s no doubt that’s a good win for us.”
Loyola dominated the boards, outrebounding Memphis 42-29, including 23 off the offensive glass, and held a 38-28 advantage in points in the paint.
“They kicked our butt on the glass,” Pastner said succinctly.
But the rebounding was offset by the Greyhounds shooting 37.9 percent (25 of 66) and committing 19 turnovers, leading to 27 Memphis points.
Memphis led 37-33 at the half despite Cormier scoring 16 points for the Greyhounds and Loyola dominating the boards 27-16.
Cormier was 7 of 14 from the field, but the Greyhounds missed six of their seven shots from outside the arc in the frame. They would end the night 2 of 12 from 3-point range.
Jackson led Memphis with 12 points, including both of his shots from long range as Memphis connected on 5 of 8 from 3-point range.
“The reason in the first half that we had a 4-point lead was because we made 3-point shots,” Pastner said. “I’ve always said that is the equalizer.”
Memphis held a trio of 10-point leads in the first half, the final one coming with just over 11 minutes remaining before the break.
Loyola answered the double-digit advantage with a 10-2 run, all 10 points by Cormier. That pulled Loyola within 30-28, but the Greyhounds could not overtake the Tigers in the final minutes of the half.
Loyola did pull even shortly after halftime as Etherly began scoring inside. But despite hitting five of their first six shots in the half, the Greyhounds could not take the lead.
Memphis’ advantage could have been even larger as Loyola was called for a flagrant foul and an intentional foul in the early minutes of the half. But the Tigers were only 4 of 10 from the foul line during the early stretch.
“We’re in the entertainment business,” Patsos said of the close game. “We give them a good show. .It was a great game.”
Several times before the midpoint of the second half, the Greyhounds were within one possession, but Jackson extended the Tiger lead, primarily from the foul line.
“It was just taking things I see on film and using my IQ for the game,” Jackson said. “Using my speed. I know when they make a shot that they are going to celebrate, so I’m going to push the ball and get us early in the offense, and things started opening up.”
Loyola trailed 53-52 after a jumper by Olson, when Memphis scored 11 unanswered points. Goodwin had seven in the stretch, with the only other points in the rally coming when Jackson hit a pair of free throws as Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos drew a technical. A dunk by Stephens to cap the run.
The Greyhounds did not threaten the rest of the way as Memphis built the lead to as many as 16.
“We played well, but they’re good,” Patsos said of Memphis.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)