It was a closer game than they expected, but the Memphis Tigers pulled out their second victory of the season, beating Samford, 65-54.
The win came despite a second-half rally by the Bulldogs (1-3), who were down by as many as 12 points but clawed back to within three, 54-51, after a layup by Tim Williams with four minutes to go. But Samford's rally ran out of steam, and the Tigers (2-0) outscored the Bulldogs 11-3 down the stretch to seal the win.
Samford did lead Memphis early in the first half, but the Tigers took control and went into the break with a nine-point lead, 33-24. Memphis pushed that lead to a dozen points a handful of times in the second half and looked to be in control. Samford refused to back down, however, led by Williams, who scored 12 points in the period.
Adonis Thomas was the catalyst for Memphis, leading the team with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Joe Jackson hit some big free throws late to finish with 13 points. Williams was the go-to guy for Samford, scoring 21 points with six rebounds. He got little help from the rest of his team, which combined for just 33 points.
Memphis' next game will be at Virginia Commonwealth on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. EST. Samford will face Toledo on Nov. 21 at 4:30 p.m. EST.