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No. 23 Memphis rolls past No. 22 Virginia


David Jones scored 26 points and No. 23 Memphis never trailed in a 77-54 victory over visiting No. 22 Virginia in a nonconference clash on Tuesday night.

The Tigers (9-2) won their fourth consecutive game, including their third straight against a ranked opponent after beating then-No. 21 Texas A&M on Dec. 10 and then-No. 13 Clemson on Saturday.

Memphis ended a five-game winning streak by the mistake-prone Cavaliers (9-2), who were playing their first true road game and came in ranked second in the nation in scoring defense — allowing just 53.3 points per game.

The Tigers shot 47.4 percent against that Virginia defense, including 39.1 percent (9 of 23) from 3-point range, and scored a whopping 27 points off a season-high 18 turnovers by the Cavaliers.

It was the fifth straight 20-point game for Jones. Memphis also got 11 points from Caleb Mills.

Reece Beekman had 13 points, Jacob Groves added 12 and Ryan Dunn had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Virginia. Isaac McKneely, who came in shooting 55.1 percent from 3-point range, missed all five attempts from deep.

Memphis turned a six-point halftime lead into a 47-37 advantage on Mills’ layup with 16:39 to play.

The Tigers’ lead ballooned to 65-44 with a 13-0 run capped by two free throws by Jones with 8:54 left.

Virginia never threatened after that and finished the game shooting 39.3 percent from the field.

With the win against the Cavaliers of the ACC, the Tigers improved to 12-2 over the past two seasons against teams from Power 5 conferences.

Memphis raced to a 13-1 lead before Virginia put together an 11-2 run that included two triples by Beekman, the last one trimming the deficit to 15-12.

Jones scored 16 in the first half and the Tigers were up 29-20 before cooling off, allowing the Cavaliers to get within 31-30.

Memphis closed the half on a 7-2 run for a 38-32 lead at intermission.

The Tigers host in-state opponent Vanderbilt on Saturday. The Cavaliers are off until Dec. 27, when they wrap their nonconference schedule at home against Morgan State.

–Field Level Media

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