So he did something about it, coming off the bench to score 19
points and making two clutch free throws with 9.6 seconds remaining
as eighth-seeded Memphis held off ninth-seeded George Washington
71-66 in an NCAA Tournament East Regional second-round game on
Friday night at PNC Arena.
"We owed it to everybody to keep playing and keep winning," Dixon
said. "We still got some things to work on, but we're a good team."
Memphis advances to face top seeded Virginia on Sunday.
Dixon rebounded George Washington guard Maurice Cheek's airballed
3-point attempt, then sealed it with two more free throws with less
than a second on the clock.
Memphis (24-9) meets Virginia in the third round on Sunday.
Dixon, the American Athletic Conference's Sixth Man of the Year,
scored the last seven Memphis points.
"George Washington made a run," Dixon said. "We never got flustered
or rattled. A lot of guys helped us win. I think we played well for
a majority of the game."
Check said he liked the chance of his potential tying 3-point
"I felt I got a great look," he said. "About the best I was going to
get. It just didn't fall."
Guard Joe Jackson added 15 points for the Tigers, who reached the
round of 32 for the second year in a row.
Dixon was coming off the only back-to-back games when he did not
reach double figures in points.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner said he sensed his team was ready for a
gritty performance. The Tigers never trailed.
"It is a possession-by-possession game," he said. "We held our poise
and we found a way to win. This is a players' game and players made
Forward Isaiah Armwood scored a season-high 21 points and forward
Kevin Larsen provided 12 of his 16 points in the first half for
George Washington (24-9). Armwood and Larsen combined to make 16 of
22 shots from the field. The rest of the team was 9 of 34.
Memphis produced 15 second-chance points, many coming to thwart the
"We knew that coming (that they'd be tough on the boards)," George
Washington coach Mike Lonergan said. "We just couldn't stop that
The Colonials continually threatened to disrupt Memphis in the
second half even though the Tigers made seven of their first 10
shots from the field after halftime.
"In this tournament, just continue to fight," Jackson said.
[to top of second column]
It was 45-41 with 14 minutes remaining.
Cheek's 3-pointer and forward Patricio Garino's basket made it 64-62
with less than three minutes left. Garino ended up with 10 points.
Dixon, taking a pass from Jackson, connected on a 3-pointer to cut
some of the tension for Memphis, which entered the tournament with
losses in three of its previous five games. The Tigers have not
dropped consecutive games since November 2012.
George Washington forward Nemanja Mikic had a potential tying
3-pointer from the wing bounce off with a minute left.
Colonials guard Joe McDonald's acrobatic drive for a basket trimmed
the margin to 67-66 with 15 seconds left before Dixon's clinching
George Washington shot 44.6 percent from the field, marking only the
third time in 26 games it lost when hitting at least 40 percent.
Memphis led 31-26 at halftime lead despite shooting 35.5 percent
from the field. The Tigers ran into trouble by scoring only three
points in the last four minutes.
Memphis hit five 3-point shots in the first half and George
Washington was 0 of 5 on long-range shots before the break.
Earlier, Memphis built a 10-point lead with just less than eight
minutes left in the half.
The Tigers received 10 first-half points from their reserves.
NOTES: Memphis reserve F David Pellom played three seasons for
George Washington before taking last season off with a wrist injury.
He came to Memphis under the graduate transfer rule, making him
eligible to play this season. Plus, Pellom's first NCAA Tournament
came in his home state. He is from Wilmington, N.C. ... George
Washington's most-recent NCAA Tournament game also was against a
team from Tennessee, losing to Vanderbilt in 2007 in Sacramento,
Calif. ... Memphis and George Washington met only once before, with
George Washington winning 69-60 in the third-place game of the 1994
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