Freshman guard Tramon Mark banked in a 3-pointer from just inside the half-court stripe to beat the buzzer and lift the ninth-ranked Houston Cougars to a 67-64 American Athletic Conference victory over the Memphis Tigers on Sunday at the Fertitta Center.
Mark answered a miraculous shot from Memphis guard Boogie Ellis that tied the game with 1.5 seconds left. The Tigers converted after corralling a rebound that ricocheted off several sets of hands and the backboard, with Malcolm Dandridge securing the ball and notching the assist.
The Cougars (21-3, 14-3) had several chances to extend their late three-point lead but misfired on a series of perimeter shots after Memphis forward DeAndre Williams scored through a foul with 3:00 left. But Williams missed the subsequent free throw, a prevailing theme for the Tigers -- 11th in the conference in free throw percentage -- who finished 10 for 20 from the charity stripe.
Landers Nolley II paced the Tigers (15-7, 11-4) with 14 points while Lester Quinones and Williams scored 11 points apiece. Williams was limited to 19 minutes due to foul difficulties. Memphis had its six-game winning streak snapped with the loss.
Senior guard DeJon Jarreau paired 19 points with eight rebounds while fellow senior Justin Gorham posted a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds. Quentin Grimes had 17 points and eight boards for the Cougars, who posted a 40-32 advantage on the boards.
Mark totaled eight points and four rebounds. The Cougars shot just 8 for 28 on 3-pointers.
Memphis turned a fast start from the floor, shooting 5 of 7, into an 11-7 lead. The Cougars were mired in an 0 for 7 stretch before Reggie Chaney completed a three-point play that cut the Memphis lead to 14-10. Houston then found its rhythm, first by displaying superior ball security.
The Cougars clustered their seven first-half turnovers prior to the midway point of the half. Houston scored on nine consecutive possessions to forge a five-point lead, and held a 39-35 advantage at the intermission.
Nolley and Quinones combined for 20 points in the half for Memphis but foul woes plagued the Tigers, who had five players with at least two fouls apiece.
--Field Level Media