Feb 22 2014

Austin Nichols for the Tigers to escape Saturday night with an 82-79 victory over the Owls.

Nichols had 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks. The rebounds and blocks were career-bests.

“He was terrific. He made some big plays,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. “He had tough, hard-nosed rebounds. He was a very, very high-level guy. We’re just a really, really good team when he can play like that.”

Temple, which entered the game tied for last place in the conference, upset SMU 71-64 last Sunday and gave Memphis a tight game in the second half. Quenton DeCosey scored 23 for Temple, but missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key in the closing seconds as Memphis won its second straight and fifth in the last six.

Shaq Goodwin led Memphis (21-6, 10-4 AAC) with 20 points – 18 of them after halftime – while Joe Jackson and Michael Dixon had 12 apiece, Jackson adding eight assists. Geron Johnson scored 10 points.

Dixon’s two free throws with 17.4 seconds remaining in overtime provided the final margin.