No. 22 Memphis beats Rutgers 64-59 - NBC Sports

No. 22 Memphis beats Rutgers 64-59
Memphis guard Geron Johnson dunks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Rutgers on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Piscataway, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
February 20, 2014, 9:45 pm

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Michael Dixon Jr. scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and No. 22 Memphis led from start to finish in a 64-59 victory over Rutgers on Thursday night.

The Tigers (20-6, 9-4 American Athletic), coming off an overtime loss at No. 21 Connecticut on Saturday, got 11 points from Joe Jackson and 10 each from Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols.

Kadeem Jack had 18 of his 22 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights (10-17, 4-10), while Myles Mack and Malick Kone had 10 points apiece.

Memphis beat the Scarlet Knights 101-69 in their first meeting on Feb. 4.

Memphis scored the game's first seven points and led by 11 three times. The last was 32-21 early in the second half.

The closest Rutgers got was 62-59 on a 3-pointer by Jerome Seagears with 4 seconds left, and Geron Johnson followed with two free throws to seal it.

The victory extends Memphis' school record of 20-win seasons to 14 straight and the Tigers improved to 36-4 after a loss under coach Josh Pastner. Rutgers has lost three straight and 10 of 13.

Memphis hit its first four shots, including two 3-pointers, to take a 12-2 lead. The Tigers went ahead 24-13 before Rutgers scored eight straight points to close within three.

The Tigers answered with Goodwin's driving layup and two free throws by Dixon for a 28-21 halftime lead.

Rutgers shot just 31.0 percent (9 for 29) in the half and was 2 of 11 from 3-point range.

In the second half, Memphis took its final 11-point lead and Rutgers could never make a big run. The lead fluctuated between five and 10 points for most of the half until a driving layup by Jack made it 53-49 with 3:45 remaining.

Dixon then scored six straight Memphis points, including a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to make it 59-51 with 1:16 left. Rutgers' last chance came after Seagear's 3-pointer but Johnson made the two free throws.

Jackson added five rebounds and four assists for Memphis, which shot 47.8 percent (22 for 46) but committed 16 turnovers. Rutgers, which got seven assists, three steals and five rebounds from Mack, shot just 37.5 percent (26 for 64)

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