Memphis Tigers return home as champions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Tigers return home as champions

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Tigers ended their stay in Conference USA taking on the second-seeded Southern Miss Golden Eagles in the tournament championship game at the BOK Center Saturday.

Chris Crawford scored 23 points, including five 3-pointers, to help lead the Memphis Tigers past the Golden Eagles in double overtime, 91-79.

The win gives the Tigers their seventh league title in the last eight years.

Crawford entered the game just one 3-pointer shy of the record for 3-pointers in the Conference USA Tournament, 15. The junior guard and Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year hit a 3-pointer halfway through the first half to tie the record. He didn't score again until under the four minute mark of the second half, when he hit another three to take sole possession of the record.

The record breaking 3-pointer ignited Crawford as he hit two more threes to give the Tigers a seven point lead with under a minute to play in regulation. Southern Miss' Jonathan Mills, however, quickly added two lay-ups to cut the lead to two with five seconds to go. After a Joe Jackson missed free throw, the Golden Eagles' Neil Watson raced down the court and hit a shot with .1 seconds remaining to tie the game at 62.

Memphis and Southern Miss went back-and-forth in the first overtime, but Jackson made amends for his missed free throw by sinking a jump shot with 12 seconds left in the first overtime frame, tying the game at 72.

In double overtime it was all Memphis, as Crawford hit his 19th 3-pointer of the tournament to give the Tigers a 78-76 lead with under three minutes to play. The Tigers never looked back, as Jackson closed things out with a two-handed slam to give the Tigers a seven point lead with 45 seconds remaining.

Chris Crawford won tournament MVP, as Memphis won the Conference USA title for the third straight year.

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