Tulsa, OK – Chris Crawford connected on 8-of-10 shots from 3-point range en route to a career-high 30 points, as No. 20 Memphis pulled away in the second half to notch an 85-74 victory over Tulsa in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament on Friday.
"Last time I had a game like this was my junior year in high school," Crawford remarked. "I couldn't put two halves together for nothing and I did it tonight and it was a great feeling."
Geron Johnson followed with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Shaq Goodwin netted 12 points for the top-seeded Tigers (29-4), who have won five straight and will take on second-seeded Southern Miss in the C-USA title game on Saturday.
Scottie Haralson paced the Golden Hurricane (17-15) with 25 points and 12 boards, while Pat Swilling scored 15 off the bench in the setback, which snapped Tulsa's two-game winning streak.
"We are not happy. There are no moral victories," Tulsa coach Danny Manning said. "We want to win games, and we want to compete at the highest level. That is our mindset and our mentality. We have to strive to get better."
Memphis led by just one, 34-33, at the break, but after James Woodard opened the second half with a jumper to put Tulsa in front, the Golden Hurricanes went the next four-plus minutes without a field goal and the Tigers ripped off nine straight points to build a 43-35 edge.
A Woodard jumper a bit later cut the margin to five before Crawford buried back-to-back triples to spark an 11-2 Memphis push that Johnson capped with five straight points, pushing the Tigers' lead to 58-44.
Haralson knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to start a 10-2 surge that brought Tulsa within 67-59 with 4:47 left, but Memphis scored the next 10 points to push the margin back above double digits for good.
The teams exchanged buckets over the opening seven minutes until Crawford knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers around a layup from Tulsa's D'Andre Wright layup, which sparked a 12-2 spurt that Goodwin capped with a layup to make it 23-12 in favor of Memphis.
The lead was seven, 32-25, following another Goodwin layup with 2:06 to play, but Tulsa closed the half on an 8-2 swing to pull within 34-33 at halftime.
Memphis coasted to a 94-64 victory over Tulsa in their only 2012-13 regular- season meeting and now owns a 23-13 all-time series lead ... D.J. Stephens finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks for Memphis ... The Tigers shot 49.2 percent (32-for-65) from the floor, including 11-for-21 from long range.