D.J. Jeffries scored 18 points, Precious Achiuwa recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 22-ranked Memphis weathered a big second-half run to beat Cincinnati, 60-49, Thursday at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.
The Tigers (14-3, 3-1 American Athletic Conference) built a double-digit lead in the first half, but an 18-2 Cincinnati run in the early second half gave the Bearcats a brief lead.
Memphis buckled down after falling behind, however, holding Cincinnati to just 11 points over the game's final 12:37.
Jeffries helped kick-start the Memphis offense after its drought. His 18 points marked his highest-scoring game since posting 23 points on Nov. 23, and marked a return to form after scoring just three points in each of his last two games since returning from an illness on Jan. 9.
Jeffries shot 4 of 10 from behind the 3-point line. Lester Quinones knocked down all three of his 3-point attempts en route to 13 points.
Cincinnati (10-7, 3-2) hung around despite its sluggish first half, capitalizing on 17 Memphis turnovers. Tre Scott was responsible for three of them with three steals. The Bearcats turned the Tigers' turnovers into 14 points.
Jarron Cumberland led all scorers with 19 points. Keith Williams was the only other Bearcat scorer in double figures with 12 points, but shot just 4 of 14 from the floor.
Shooting vexed Cincinnati throughout the evening. The Bearcats made just 30 percent of their field-goal attempts and were 7 of 12 at the free-throw line.
Malcolm Dandridge fueled the Memphis defensive effort with four steals and three blocked shots. Tigers coach Penny Hardaway gave Dandridge the start alongside Achiuwa in the frontcourt, opting for a big look to counter Cincinnati's 7-foot-1 center Chris Vogt.
Vogt scored nine points on 4-of-9 shooting.
After last week's loss at Wichita State, Hardaway pointed to his team's lack of assisted field goals. The Tigers improved in that phase Thursday, with Alex Lomax's five assists leading the team's 14 on 21 made field goals.
--Field Level Media