CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Sophomore Will Barton had career highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds to help No. 21-ranked Memphis overcome a poor night of outside shooting and beat the Miami Hurricanes 71-54 Tuesday night.
The Tigers, who sank 15 3-pointers in a rout three nights earlier, went 1 for 12 from beyond the arc. They repeatedly worked the ball inside in the second half to pull away.
Memphis (5-2) won its third game in a row. The Hurricanes (5-3) lost in their first game against a ranked team, and the defeat snapped a streak of 27 consecutive non-conference home victories.
Barton shot 12 for 20, including three alley-oop dunks, and he added four steals. Chris Crawford totaled nine points, five assists and four steals. Adonis Thomas had 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who had a 44-37 advantage on the boards.
The Hurricanes raced to a 7-0 lead but cooled off after that and shot just 36 percent. Their point total was a season low.
Miami's talented guard trio of Durand Scott, Malcolm Grant and Shane Larkin combined for only 22 points. Kenny Kadji had 12 points for the Hurricanes, and Scott and Trey McKinney Jones added 10 apiece.
There were seven lead changes in the first half. The Tigers took a 27-26 lead into the second half and slowly pulled away.
Joe Jackson was 0 for 6 from the field before he sank the Tigers' only 3-pointer to put them up 40-35.
Crawford fed Barton for scores on consecutive possessions, then made a three-point play that made it 53-46. Stan Simpson's layup gave the Tigers their first double-digit lead, 59-49, and the Tigers sank eight free throws in the final four minutes to increase their cushion.
The Hurricanes sank consecutive 3-pointers en route to the 7-0 lead. Barton made a steal and dunk for the Tigers' first basket, then scored on their next two possessions as well.
Barton dunked on an alley-oop pass from Crawford to give the Tigers their first lead, 14-13. The Hurricanes missed eight of their final nine shots in the opening half to fall behind for good.