ORLANDO, FL (WMC) - Kareem Brewton's on-the-run three-pointer at the buzzer lifted the University of Memphis past Tulsa and into the American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals by a final score of 67-64.
After Tulsa's Martins Igbanu split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 64 with 3.5 seconds remaining, Brewton raced the length of the floor and took off from the three-point line, floating the ball into the basket and propelling the Tigers to a matchup on Saturday with top-seeded Cincinnati.
"It certainly was a clutch shot Kareem Brewton made there at the end. I thought our guys showed a lot of courage, a lot of heart, a lot of toughness, good balance scoring--good team effort all the way around," Memphis head coach Tubby Smith said.
Brewton said the final play went according to the script.
"That was pretty much the plan to have Kyvon (Davenport) and Jamal (Johnson) go ahead and cross to distract those two from going down. Pretty much get the ball on a curl and go all the way to the basket, but Mike (Parks)'s man stepped, so I was like, 'man, it's like 0.5, just go ahead and shoot it.' So, I just shot it.
"I watched it the whole way. I followed through on it too, and then I just followed it under the goal. When it went in, I just seen everybody just screaming, running toward me," Brewton said.
Freshman guard Jamal Johnson led the way for Memphis early, scoring nine of his 12 points in the first half and helping the Tigers take a 26-25 lead into halftime.
Memphis led by as many as 11 in the second half, but Tulsa closed the gap.
"We were pretty much controlling the game for a while, then they gained some momentum," Smith said.
Neither team led by more than four points in the final 8:30 of the game.
Tulsa took its final lead at 63-61 on a Corey Henderson jumper with 52 seconds left on the clock.
Thirteen seconds later, Kyvon Davenport--who finished the game with 15 points--hit a three to put the Tigers up by one.
On the other end, Memphis fouled Igbanu, who tied the game at 64, which led to Brewton's stunning buzzer beater.
"It was an impressive win for us. We're excited about advancing," Smith said.
The Tigers play the Cincinnati Bearcats in the semifinals on Saturday at noon. In the two regular season matchups with Cincinnati, Memphis lost by 34 on the road and 14 at home.