It took double overtime to do it, but the Memphis Tigers beat Southern Miss in the CUSA Tournament final, Saturday, 91-79. After a slow start, Chris Crawford found his stroke and scored 20 points in the final 13 minutes of the contest, including four three-pointers. With three minutes left in regulation, Crawford had scored only three points on an early trey.
Adonis Thomas added 19 points, 8 rebounds, and five assists, and Joe Jackson had 22 points, as five Tigers hit double figures.
It looked like Memphis had it won in regulation, but missed several front ends of one-and-ones to let Southern Miss back in the game, which ended 62-all in regulation. Both teams scored 10 points in the first overtime, leading to a 72-72 lockup. In the third overtime, Memphis' shots started falling, putting Southern Miss into a hole it couldn't dig out of.
By winning, Memphis finished it final season in CUSA with a perfect 19-0 record. In his post-game press conference, Memphis Coach Josh Pastner said, "That's hard stuff to do, and we don't take it for granted. It is not a birthright. That is why I'm just so proud of these young men. The players made plays."
Now the Tigers await their seeding for the Big Dance, which will be announced Sunday.