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No. 23 Memphis holds off Vanderbilt

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No. 23 Memphis, led by 28 points and nine rebounds from David Jones, came from behind to knock off upset-minded Vanderbilt, 77-75 on Saturday in Memphis, Tenn.

The Tigers trailed by eight, 62-54, with 8:21 remaining in the second half, but their ensuing 12-0 run keyed the team’s fifth win in a row.

Jahvon Quinerly scored 13 points and led Memphis with four assists. Kansas State transfer Nae’Quon Tomlin, making his Tigers debut, scored eight.

Vanderbilt shot 42.9 percent from the field to Memphis’s 38.2 percent, but the Commodores turned it over 17 times to the Tigers’ nine.

Ezra Manjon led Vanderbilt with 22 points with Tyrin Lawrence, Jason Rivera-Torres and Tasos Kamateros each adding 12.

Memphis opened the second half with Nick Jourdain’s open-court steal and dunk. A Jones 3, a Jourdain lay-up off a Jones assist and then another open-floor steal and layup from Jourdain provided Memphis a 44-36 advantage — its biggest of the game to that point.

A Rivera-Torres 3 keyed a 9-0 run that gave the Commodores a 62-54 advantage with 8:21 left.

But Caleb Mills made a steal that led to his fast-break alley-oop pass and a dunk by Malcolm Dandridge for a 64-62 Memphis lead with 5:07 left in regulation.

The Tigers never trailed again, though the Commodores made it interesting. Jones and Quinerly each made one of two free-throw attempts in the final 11 seconds.

Kamateros hit the first of two free throws with 5 seconds left to cut Memphis’ lead to 77-75. He missed the second and Memphis tipped the rebound out of bounds.

But following a timeout, Manjon missed a contested 3 from about 25 feet.

The Commodores led by six in the first half, but coach Jerry Stackhouse picked up a technical foul during a timeout with 3:37 left before the break.

Quinerly followed with a pair of free throws and then Jones buried a corner 3 at 3:15 on the ensuing possession to cut Vanderbilt’s advantage to one.

A Mills 3 gave Memphis its first lead in over 12 minutes but Lawrence’s layup with 32 seconds left provided Vanderbilt’s 36-35 halftime advantage.

Vanderbilt starter Ven-Allen Lubin played the first half with a groin injury but failed to score in nine minutes and didn’t play the second half.

–Field Level Media

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