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NCAA Basketball American Athletic Conference BasketballMemphis Tigers

Memphis Tigers Escape Second-Half Surge With Help From Michael Dixon Jr.

Memphis Rutgers

Noah K. Murray

It wasn’t the prettiest of games for the No. 22 ranked Memphis Tigers, but they did what needed to be done. Memphis came into tonight’s contest winning three of their last four games, but losing the last battle to the UConn Huskies. Superb play from the Rutgers Scarlet KnightsKadeem Jack almost cost them. A little man, however, came off of the bench and played quite the big role in a solid second half for the Tigers.

Memphis was outscored in the second half by two and an 8-2 run late in the second half kept the Tigers on their heels. Michael Dixon Jr., however, would have no part of it. Scoring 13 of his 15 total points in the second half of play, Dixon managed to score five points after the 8-2 run that helped seal the deal against Rutgers.

For most of the year, Dixon has been solid from the line but has struggled as of late, as he did again in tonight’s game. Shooting 5-7 from the line tonight, his two misses came at a crucial time in the second half, but he made up for his mistakes with two clutch three-pointers.

It hasn’t been the prettiest season for the Tigers, but lately they have stepped up. With a win tonight and a likely win over the Temple Owls on Saturday night, the Tigers will probably see themselves crack the top 20. It would be the perfect momentum builder headed down the stretch for them, which is something they could probably use. The Tigers’ final three games are against the teams currently ahead of them in the American Athletic Conference.

Steven Smith is a Philadelphia Flyers writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter and “like” him on Facebook.