Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Despite Chris Crawford and Joe Jackson exiting the game early for different reasons, Memphis held on to beat UCF on Saturday and clinch the regular season C-USA championship.
The No. 19 Memphis Tigers used a 12-2 run midway through the second half to pull away from the UCF Knights on Saturday, earning a 76-67 victory at UCF Arena to clinch the Conference USA regular season title.
The Tigers encountered their fair share of adversity in Orlando, falling down by 10 points after Knights forward Kasey Wilson's layup six minutes into the game. Memphis rallied and took a five-point lead into the break, then extended its advantage to nine points early in the second half.
UCF fought back quickly, using a 9-0 run to tie the game at 38 apiece with 15:48 remaining. After a timeout, Memphis reacted with a flurry, led by seven quick points from Joe Jackson, to take a double-digit lead just four minutes later.
Chris Crawford scored 19 points off the bench for the Tigers (25-4, 14-0 C-USA), but left the game after rolling his right ankle late in the second half. Jackson pitched in 19 points and seven assists, including one on an explosive alley-oop dunk from D.J. Stephens with 30 seconds left in the game.
Jackson was ejected with 19.6 remaining after shoving a UCF player. Several plays earlier, he got into a separate dust-up with a couple of Knights.
Keith Clanton led all scorers with 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting for UCF (19-10, 8-6 C-USA).
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