Senior forward Shaq Goodwin
established a new career-high in scoring — before halftime — and Memphis avoided its first three-game losing streak in 11 years. Despite being outsized by UCF's twin titans (Tacko Fall and Justin McBride), Goodwin scored 35 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and even handed out a career-high in assists (6) to lead the way in Orlando for the Tigers' first road victory of the season.
Two days after the most deflating loss of the season (to East Carolina at FedExForum), Tiger coach Josh Pastner replaced Markel Crawford in the starting lineup with senior swingman Trahson Burrell. After falling an assist shy of a triple-double against ECU, Burrell was limited to two points (one for seven from the field), but the Tigers had more than enough offensive firepower elsewhere. In addition to Goodwin's career night, junior guard Avery Woodson
scored a season-high 19, including five three-pointers. Ricky Tarrant Jr.
added 18 points and Dedric Lawson
earned the eighth double-double of his freshman season (15 points and 12 rebounds).
As a team, the Tigers shot 50 percent from the field, but allowed the Knights to shoot 53 percent. The U of M hit a season-high 12 three-pointers, combined for 24 assists, and committed only eight turnovers. It was 40 minutes of productive basketball, twice the showing last Sunday against the Pirates.
Now 13-7 (4-3 in the American Athletic Conference), the Tigers will travel to Dallas Saturday to face 13th-ranked SMU (18-1). The game will open the toughest three-game stretch of the Tigers' season, with visits next week from Connecticut (February 4th) and Cincinnati (February 6th).