MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Freshman forward Austin Nichols scored 18 points and the No. 24 Memphis Tigers made a season-high 12 shots from 3-point range in a 101-69 rout of Rutgers Tuesday night at the FedExForum.
Memphis (17-5, 7-3 in the American Athletic Conference) shot 59 percent (36-for-61). The Tigers shot 63.2 percent on 3-pointers (12-for-19). They finished with 26 assists on 36 made field goals. Their 101 points tied their season high.
Guard Michael Dixon scored 15 points off the bench for Memphis. Every starter reached double-digits in scoring, with guard Joe Jackson scoring 16 points with eight assists, forward Shaq Goodwin finishing with 13 points, and guard Chris Crawford scoring 12 points with 11 rebounds and five assists. Guard Geron Johnson also had 12 points and five assists.
Rutgers (9-14, 3-7) trailed by as many as 41 points in the second half. Forward-center Kadeem Jack led the Scarlet Knights with 12 points. They shot 41.1 percent (25-for-56).
Rutgers outscored Memphis 48-45 in the second half.
Memphis had 40-29 edge in rebounds, a 44-28 advantage in points in the paint. The Tigers scored 32 points off 17 Rutgers turnovers.
The game was a little more than two minutes old when a 3-pointer from Johnson started a devastating 27-2 run that put the Tigers up 31-5 with 9:52 to play in the first half.
Memphis led 56-21 at halftime and was shooting 66.7 percent from the field (22-for-33). The Tigers shot 72.7 percent from 3-point range (8-for-11).
Nichols had 16 points for Memphis on 7-for-7 shooting from the floor. Jackson had 10 first-half points and six assists.
Memphis outscored Rutgers 26-4 in the paint and had 17 points off 10 first-half turnovers. Rutgers shot 25 percent from the field (6-for-24) and went 1-for-11 from long distance (9.1 percent).
Jack led Rutgers with eight points in the first 20 minutes.
NOTES: Entering Tuesday’s game, Memphis was first in the American Athletic Conference and third in the nation in assists per game at 17.6. The Tigers also rank fourth nationally in steals at 9.6 per game, just behind the AAC’s Louisville Cardinals, who are third nationally. … Rutgers G Jerome Seagears leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.6. Memphis G Joe Jackson leads the league in steals at 2.0. … ESPN’s College GameDay show will set up camp at FedExForum on Saturday when No. 23 Gonzaga comes to Memphis to play the No. 24 Tigers. The game tips at 9 p.m. ET.
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