The Tigers connected on 12 of 14 free throws in overtime to escape with a win Saturday night at Tulane. Memphis improved to 20-9 on the season and 9-7 in the American Athletic Conference, keeping hopes alive for a bye in the upcoming AAC tournament in Fort Worth.
The Tigers held what appeared to be a comfortable lead (57-49) with five minutes remaining in regulation, but scored only three more points — courtesy of a Tyler Harris
trey — before the final buzzer. A goaltending call against Tiger forward Precious Achiuwa
allowed the Green Wave to tie the game at 60 and force the extra session. Achiuwa had what could be considered his finest game of the season: 22 points and 22 rebounds for his 16th double-double. But the star freshman missed four free throws inside the game's final two minutes, any one of which would have secured a Tiger victory without five extra minutes of play. He hit three of four free throws in overtime.
added 11 points for Memphis and Harris scored 12 off the bench. Christion Thompson scored 30 points for the Green Wave as Tulane dropped to 12-17 (4-13).
The Tigers could earn a top-four seed in the AAC tournament by winning their final two regular-season games. They will host Wichita State Thursday night (8 p.m.) with hopes of avenging a 76-67 loss in Kansas on January 9th. The Tigers will then finish the regular season at Houston on March 8th. Memphis evened its record away from FedExForum at 6-6 with Saturday night's win.