The Tigers played two of the most historic halves in program history Saturday at USF. The end result: a third loss in four games.
Senior point guard Jeremiah Martin
scored 41 points, becoming only the eighth Memphis player to put up 40 in a game (and the first since December 1997). And he scored all 41 after halftime.
Unfortunately for Martin and his teammates, there was a first half in Tampa. Memphis missed its first 16 shots from the field and was gored in a running of the Bulls, falling behind 27-1 before Kyvon Davenport scored the team's first field goal of the contest. The Tigers missed 24 of 28 shots from the field in the first half and committed 14 turnovers on the way to a 38-13 deficit at the break.
Then Martin took over. The pride of Mitchell High School buried his seventh three-pointer of the second half with 32 seconds left to close the deficit to six points (82-76). But Memphis would get no closer, exchanging field goals with the Bulls before the final buzzer. The 65 second-half points are the most Memphis has scored in a period this season.
David Collins led USF with 20 points as the Bulls improved to 15-6 for the season and are now tied with Memphis in the American Athletic Conference with a 5-4 league mark. The Tigers dropped to 13-9 with the loss.
Davenport scored 13 points off the Tiger bench. No other Memphis player reached double figures in the scoring column. Davenport, Mike Parks, and Isaiah Maurice each fouled out.
The Tigers return to FedExForum Thursday night when they'll host Cincinnati. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Below are the previous 40-point games in Memphis history:
• February 17, 1942: Leslie Steele (42)
• December 11, 1953: Dick Kinder (44)
• December 1, 1955: Win Wilfong (40)
• December 7, 1955: Forest Arnold (46)
• January 20, 1973: Larry Finch (48)
• January 30, 1991: Elliot Perry (42)
• December 13, 1997: Marcus Moody (41)