MEMPHIS, Tenn. – After entering the break tied 27-27, a strong showing in the second half surged the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team 64-52 over Memphis on Tuesday night inside FedExForum.
With the win, the Lumberjacks (4-3) improved to one game above .500 for the first time since winning their season opener 75-49 over Mississippi College (Nov. 14).
Junior Clide Geffrard paced SFA against the Tigers (2-3), recording a season-high 14 points across 17 minutes off the bench. The native of Pompano Beach, Florida, was 5-of-8 from the floor, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and completing a 2-of-2 showing from the free throw line.
Three 'Jacks finished in double figures, as senior Jacob Parker and freshman Ty Charles joined Geffrard, netting 13 and 10 points, respectfully. Junior Thomas Walkup added seven points and led SFA at the glass will 10 rebounds (six offensive, four defensive).
The 'Jacks played very balanced on both sides of the ball, leading Memphis in nearly every statistical category, as SFA finished 23-of-55 (41.8%) from the floor, 7-of-20 (.35.0%) from behind the arc and 11-of-14 (78.6%) from the charity stripe. The 'Jacks, despite losing the battle 38-26 in the paint, outscored Memphis 13-4 off turnovers, 14-9 in second chance opportunities and an impressive 32-10 off the bench.
After Markel Crawford gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead on a dunk in the opening minute, Walkup hit a jumper and added his lone free throw of the game to put SFA up 3-2 after two minutes of play. The lead built up to four points at 16-12 with 11:31 to go, before Memphis made a charge.
A 7-2 run by the Tigers over the next 3:17 put Memphis out front 19-18, their first advantage since the opening basket, before both teams traded the lead two more times. With 1:20 left in the first half, Tiger Shaq Goodwin, who finished with 15 points, hit a pair of free throws to put Memphis up 27-24. Following turnovers by both teams, Charles his first 3-pointer for the 'Jacks since at Xavier (Nov.21) to tie the game up 27-all heading into the break.
The close play continued into the second half, before the Tigers took a three-point edge at 11:49 on a dunk from Trahson Burrell to go up 42-39. Two possessions later Parker fouled Goodwin, but Burrell committed a technical foul against Parker to send both teams to the line. Parker and Goodwin each knocked down their two shots, but the technical swung the momentum in SFA's favor, as the 'Jacks went on a 13-1 run over the next 3:43 to lead Memphis 56-45 with under seven minutes to play.
Tiger Austin Nichols, who led all with 16 points, hit a jump shot to end the run and snap a 6:30 scoring drought for Memphis from the field, but SFA's lead never dipped below eight points the rest of the way to arrive at the 64-52 final.
The 'Jacks will now return to Nacogdoches and open a five game homestand inside William R. Johnson Coliseum beginning on Friday, Dec. 5, against Long Beach State.