Frazier’s career-high 28 points not enough in Tulane loss at Memphis
MEMPHIS – Melvin Frazier scored a career-high 28 points, and despite scoring 58 second-half points, the Tulane men’s basketball team suffered a 96-89 road defeat at Memphis in American Athletic Conference action Tuesday night at FedEx Forum.
Frazier shot 10 of 15 overall while making seven of nine free throws to go with a game-high five steals, while Jordan Cornish added a season-high 19 points, four rebounds and four assists with four 3-pointers made. Ray Ona Embo compiled 15 points, made four treys and led all players with six assists, as Cameron Reynolds had 11 points, four boards, four assists, two blocks and a pair of steals.
Jeremiah Martin scored a game-high 31 points and wen 15-for-15 at the free throw line to lead five Memphis (11-6, 2-2 AAC) players in double-figures. Mike Parks, Jr., added 16 points, as Kyvon Davenport had 15 and Jimario Rivers chipped in 12 off the bench. Jamal Johnson also had 10 points.
The Green Wave shot 21-for-35 (.600) overall in the second half and 9-for-16 (.563) beyond the 3-point line, while outscoring the Tigers, 21-5, off turnovers in the period.
Cornish scored Tulane’s (11-5, 2-2 AAC) first seven points, including a basket on the opening possession of the night, but Memphis roared back with nine straight points before Cornish completed a three-point play to end the run to cut the deficit to four, 9-5, with 16:22 remaining in the half. Trailing 12-7, the Green Wave allowed eight consecutive points down to the 13:17 mark before calling a timeout.
Tulane’s deficit grew to as large as 21 points, but the Wave was able to chip away with an 8-0 run of their own on a pair of 3’s by Sehic and a dunk by Frazier to make it 40-27 with 6:15 left. The Green Wave had their chances, but were unable to draw any closer as they headed into halftime trailing, 50-31.
Tulane shot 10-for-29 (.345) from the field, 5-for-15 (.333) beyond the arc and 6-for-8 (.750) at the free throw line in the first half, while Memphis went 19-for-33 (.576) on the floor, 2-for-7 (.286) from deep and 10-for-11 (.909) at the stripe.
The Green Wave made six of their first nine shots to start the second half, but so did the Tigers who pushed their lead back over 20 points, 68-47, with 11:49 remaining in the game. Tulane would outscore Memphis, 12-4, over the next four minutes however after a Frazier layup to move within 13 points, 72-59, with 7:54 left.
Despite the Tigers stretching the lead back to 16 with 7:04 to go, the Wave got extremely hot from 3-point land down the stretch, including a trio of treys by Cornish, to cut the deficit to just five with a 24-13 run down to the 36 second mark with the score 91-86.
An Ona Embo triple with 20 ticks on the game clock kept the margin at five, 94-89, but Memphis would sink its free throws inside the final minute however to hang on for the seven point win.
Tulane returns home for the first of back-to-back contests at Avron B. Fogelman Arena on Saturday, January 13 against Connecticut. Tipoff is set for noon (CT) and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNews.
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