The Tigers traveled to Oxford, Mississippi, Saturday for their first true road test of the season. Forced to play much of the game without star forward Dedric Lawson
— limited to 22 minutes by foul trouble — the U of M took the lead midway through the second half, only to surrender the contest on a 17-1 Rebel run fueled by free throws.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy
Memphis trailed throughout the first half when both Dedric and K.J. Lawson
were forced to the bench with two fouls. A Markel Crawford
three-pointer helped the Tigers close within one (27-26) with just over eight minutes to play in the half, but Ole Miss enjoyed a 10-run before Cullen Neal drained a trey to give Ole Miss a 47-37 lead at the break.
Even with Dedric Lawson sidelined, Memphis exploded in the second half, turning a 14-point deficit into a 5-point lead with a 24-5 run. A steal and dunk by Crawford gave the Tigers their first lead of the game (58-57) with just over 11 minutes to play. The lead grew to 68-64 before the Rebels took over for good. Five straight free throws gave Ole Miss a 70-68 lead and the U of M would get no closer. Both teams are now 6-2 for the season.
K.J. Lawson led Memphis with 17 points, Crawford added 16, and Jeremiah Martin
had 14. Sebastian Saiz paced the Rebels with 20 points.
The Tigers will have a week off before returning to play next Saturday. Longtime rival UAB returns to FedExForum for a noon tip-off. The teams have not played since Memphis left Conference USA for the American Athletic Conference after the 2012-13 season.