Tulsa, the No. 3 seed, dropped an 89-67 decision to the red-hot No. 6-seeded Memphis Tigers in quarterfinal action of the American Athletic Conference Championship in front of a crowd of 7,218 at the Amway Center late Friday night.
The Tigers took a double-digit lead in the first half and never let the Hurricane get close after holding a 14-point lead at intermission. Memphis came out in the second half on fire, making six of its first nine field goals and four of its first five three-pointers, to take a 62-39 lead in the first five minutes.
Memphis took its largest lead of 31 points at the 6:17 mark, and Tulsa cut the final margin to 22 points.
Tulsa turnovers, foul trouble and hot shooting by the Tigers was too much for the Hurricane to overcome. Both teams connected on 43-percent of its field goals, but Memphis took 29 more shots than the Hurricane. The Tigers made 9-of-25 three pointers, while Tulsa converted just 4-of-15 from behind the arc.
Tulsa was led by Shaquille Harrison's 15 points, while Brandon Swannegan added 14 and a team-high seven rebounds, and James Woodard scored 11 points. Memphis had four players with double-digit points, led by Dedric Lawson's 22 points, Ricky Tarrant's 21, 17 by Trahson Burrell and 12 by Avery Woodson. Tarrant connected on 5-of-7 three-pointers for the Tigers.
Tulsa scored the first four points of the game and jumped out to a 9-4 lead when Marquel Curtisscored a layup at the 15-minute mark.
Memphis out-scored Tulsa 12 to 5 over the next four minutes to take its first lead of the game, 16-14, with 11:03 on the first-half clock. The Tigers took a 19-14 lead before the Hurricane scored four straight points, making the score 19-18, but the Tigers never relinquished its lead.
The Tigers took its biggest first half lead of 14 points at the halftime buzzer when Memphis took a 46-32 lead going into the intermission on Tarrant's third trey of the first 20 minutes.
Memphis took 14 more shots (16-of-37) than the Hurricane (12-of-23) in the first half. The Tigers converted 43-percent of its field goals, while Tulsa knocked down 52 percent. Turnovers were the big nemesis of the Hurricane in the first half, as nine Tulsa turnovers ended in 14 Memphis points. The Tigers also made 11-of-14 free throws, while Tulsa converted 7-of-10 freebies.
The Tigers had three double-figure scorers in the first half as Tarrant scored 14, Burrell 12 and Lawson 10 points. Harrison led the Hurricane with seven first-half points.
Tulsa will wait until Sunday to learn of its' post-season destination.