Memphis has played its share of close games this season and it finally caught up to the 21st-ranked Tigers on Thursday night.
Danuel House scored 19 points, including an important 3-pointer down the stretch, and Houston closed with a decisive surge to beat Memphis 77-68.
Michael Dixon Jr. scored 19 points and Shaq Goodwin had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers (21-7, 10-5 American Athletic Conference). Austin Nichols, in foul trouble throughout the game, added 12 points.
Dixon called it a horrible loss and said it stung.
“Ultimately, I don’t think we played any defense,” he said. “We were horrible on the defensive end as a team. That decided the game. They were hitting wide-open shots and made a lot of shots. They are a good shooting team. Totally different team at home than on the road and that decided the game.”
The Tigers shot just under 47 percent but only 3 of 13 from 3-point range and committed 14 turnovers that led to 21 Houston points.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner called out senior guards Chris Crawford, Joe Jackson and Geron Johnson, who combined for 15 points and eight turnovers.
“I said all along it would be hard to win games when three of our four guards played like they did,” Pastner said. “Chris and Joe have not played well the last week and a half. I don’t know what’s up with them, but they have to snap out of it.”