MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The No. 22 Memphis Tigers survived a scare from lowly Temple on Saturday night in an American Athletic Conference game and held on to defeat the Owls 82-79 in overtime.
Forward Shaq Goodwin led the Tigers (21-6, 10-4) with 20 points and forward Austin Nichols added 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Temple (7-19, 2-12) had three players score 20 or more. Guard Will Cummings finished with 24 points, guard Quenton DeCosey with 23 and guard Dalton Pepper with 20.
Memphis shot 57 percent from the field to overcome a poor 9-of-21 effort (42.9 percent) from the free-throw line.
Temple battled valiantly despite playing only seven of its eight available players.
It did not appear as if the Owls would make as determined a run as they did early in the second half. The Tigers led by eight at the half and were ahead 57-49 with 13:22 to go after a basket by Nichols.
Temple recovered to put together a 14-2 run to take a 63-59 lead with 9:45 left. Pepper had two 3-pointers during the surge.
Temple’s comeback set up a frantic final eight minutes. The lead changed hands five times during a two-minute stretch and neither team led by more than one until Tigers guard Joe Jackson hit a 15-foot jumper with 1:43 to go for a 74-71 lead.
The Owls tied the score at 74 with 1:13 to on a three-point play by Pepper.
Neither team was able to connect in the final minute. Temple had two shots in the final 10 seconds of regulation and Nichols misfired on a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
In overtime, Nichols put the Tigers ahead with a short left-handed hook, but Pepper responded with a 3-pointer from the right corner for a 77-76 Temple advantage with 3:24 left. Jackson answered a minute later with a layup.
Memphis shot 57 percent from the field in the first half to take a 40-32 halftime lead.
Temple, with only eight available players, shot 37 percent from the floor in the opening half but kept it close throughout most of the first 20 minutes.
Temple had early leads of 5-2 and 9-6 before Memphis took a 10-9 advantage on a tip-in by guard Geron Johnson, who led the Tigers with 10 points in the first half.
Reserve guard Michael Dixon Jr. sparked Memphis with two jump shots, including a 3-pointer, and an alley-oop pass to Johnson for an emphatic dunk and a 17-13 lead. The Tigers stretched their lead to 10 on two occasions (36-26 and 39-29) late in the half.
The Owls, who lost 79-69 at home to Memphis last month, got 18 first-half points from Cummings, who scored 10 straight during a seven-minute stretch.
NOTES: Memphis reinstated freshman reserve F Dominic Woodson before the game. Woodson (6-10, 310) was suspended two weeks ago after cursing from the bench in a 76-70 win over Central Florida. Woodson will not be allowed to travel with the team for its AAC game on Thursday at Houston. Woodson averages 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds. … Temple played its fourth straight nationally ranked opponent and will make it five straight on Thursday at No. 11 Louisville, a first for the Owls. … Former Butler coach Brad Stevens, now with the Boston Celtics, ranks as the NCAA’s winningest coach in his first five seasons with 139. Memphis coach Josh Paster, in his fifth season, entered Saturday’s game with 126.
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