The University of Memphis trio of Chris Hawkins, Nick King and Dominic Magee fueled a second-half comeback, but it wasn't enough as the Tigers dropped an 86-76 decision to Carleton University before a near sell-out crowd at the Ravens' Nest Saturday night. The game was the first of four in four nights on Memphis' Canadian exhibition tour.
King led the Memphis charge with second-half 12 points, and Hawkins added 11 points in the final two periods. Magee had seven points, three boards, two assists and two steals in the second half. The Tigers, as a team, shot 62.5 percent from the field, while holding Carleton to 36 percent from the floor and 28 percent from the three-point arc after halftime.
"In the second half, we just played hard and competed," said head coach Josh Pastner. "We didn't play on our heels. Our goal in the second half was to hold them under 40 percent from the field and under 30 percent from the three-point line, and we did that. We defended better in the second half, and enabled us to get back in the game.
"I was proud that we didn't splinter. We stayed together. Not splintering in the second half is a great sign for this team."
The Tigers found themselves down by 32 points at 71-39 on a Guilluame Boucard layup with 3:09 left in the third period and was only able to cut the lead by five at 27 points (74-47) by the end of the quarter.
In the final quarter, Memphis started with a 19-6 run to cut the Ravens' lead to under 20 points at 80-61 with 6:23 left. King netted five points and Hawkins added a bucket in the run. A Phillip Scrubb jumper halted the Tigers' spurt to give Carleton an 82-61 advantage with 5:55 on the clock.
From there, Memphis made one final push with a 12-0 spurt over the next 3:50 to slice the Carleton advantage to 82-73 with 2:05 left. King's five points, Hawkins' four and Magee's basket accounted for 11 of the run's 12 points. However, Philip Scrubb's trey with 1:35 left gave Carleton an 85-73 lead that not only halted the Memphis spurt, but also placed the game out of reach.
The first half was the Philip and Thomas Scrubb show as the brother combination scored 33 points and handed out seven assists to lead the Ravens to a 55-29 halftime advantage. Thomas Scrubb was 5-of-6 from the arc in the first half, while Philip Scrubb was 6-of-10 from the floor and handed out seven assists.
King led Memphis with seven points in the first half, and Pookie Powell added six. The Tigers shot 40 percent from the field and 20 percent from the arc in the opening two periods, while Carleton connected on 55.6 percent from the floor and 57.1 percent from the three-point line.
"The Carleton coach told me before the game that they blitzed Wisconsin, Syracuse and Louisville in past exhibitions," said Pastner. "They jump on teams early, and we were another victim."
Memphis had four players make their first collegiate start - exhibition or regular season - Saturday versus Carleton. The four first-time starters were redshirt freshman Markel Crawford and sophomores Kuran Iverson, Nick King and Pookie Powell. Austin Nichols sat out Saturday's game with an ankle sprain.
King finished with a team-high 19 points, followed by Hawkins with 14 points and Magee with 11. Shaq Goodwin, the only returning starter who played in Saturday's contest, added nine points and eight rebounds. Magee had five boards, four assists and two steals to go with his 11 points.
Carleton's Philip Scrubb led all scorers with 35 points and handed out a game-high 10 assists. Thomas Scrubb added 21 points.
The Tigers return to action Sunday at 6 p.m. (CT) against the University of Ottawa.
"Tomorrow night we have to defend the entire game like we did in the second half tonight," said Pastner. "We have to rebound better and make more of our free throws. The Carleton coach says that Ottawa is a better team. But, this is why we came on this trip, for the competition and to get tested. "