Orlando, FL – Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Jackson scored 17 points with five rebounds, five assists, and four steals to lead No. 22 Memphis to a 69-59 win over Central Florida on Wednesday.
Chris Crawford deposited 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, Michael Dixon Jr. also supplied 12 points and Geron Johnson added 10 for the Tigers (16-4, 6-2 AAC), who won their 16th straight conference road game.
Isaiah Sykes paced all scorers with 24 points for Central Florida (9-9, 1-6), which dropped its fifth straight game. Matt Williams was the only other Knight in double figures with 13 points in the setback.
Crawford hit a 3 with 12:55 remaining in the second half for a 51-46 Memphis lead. However, the Tigers managed just one field goal over the next seven-plus minutes until Crawford nailed another trey with 5:52 to play.
UCF couldn't take advantage of the cold shooting of its opponent. Tristan Spurlock made a jumper to cut the deficit to 56-54 with 8:55 remaining and the Knights trailed by three before Crawford's triple.
Johnson made a layup at 5:06 to stretch the lead to eight and the Knights couldn't make up the deficit in the closing minutes, trailing by as little as six before Memphis' defense turned it on for its fifth straight win over the Knights.
Earlier, Memphis led 14-6 when Sykes scored four points during an 8-0 spurt which tied the game with just over 13 minutes left in the opening half.
David Pellom scored two straight buckets a bit later and Dixon followed with a layup to give Memphis a 25-18 lead.
Central Florida had an answer as Williams and Steven Haney nailed 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions and Sykes followed with a layup to help the Knights move back in front, 35-32, with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half.
A Jackson 3 then pushed Memphis ahead, but Sykes, who scored the last six points of the half for UCF, hit a jumper with 25 seconds left to close the scoring in the first and tie the game 39-39 at the break.
Memphis is 15-1 all-time against UCF ... Memphis shot 23-for-45 (51.1 percent) from the field, including 7-for-12 (58.3 percent) from 3-point range ... UCF made 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) attempts from beyond the arc.