James’ season-high 22 points lifts Tulane over No. 10 Memphis, 81-79

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Sion James scored a season-high 22 points, and Tulane held off 10th-ranked Memphis 81-79 on Sunday to hand the Tigers their second straight loss.

James hit a pivotal corner 3 that put Tulane (12-6, 3-3 American Athletic Conference) up 77-75 with 2:22 left. And Collin Holloway capped his 13-point performance with a layup and two free throws in the final 1:43 to put the Green Wave in front for good.

David Jones had 32 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis (15-4, 4-2), and his block on James’ midrange fade as the shot clock expired gave the Tigers the ball, down by two, with 14 seconds to go.

James’ 3-point attempt for the win rimmed out long off the back iron and the rebound was tapped out to James for one more shot with a second on the clock, but his rushed second attempt missed the rim and students poured onto the court in Tulane’s cozy, 90-year-old, 4,000-seat on-campus arena to celebrate with players.

Kevin Cross added 21 points for Tulane, which nearly beat another ranked team 10 days earlier, when the Wave fell 85-84 to No. 23 Florida Atlantic after a disputed foul call on a desperation 3-point shot with less than a second on the clock.

Malcolm Dandridge scored 13 points for Memphis and had a career-high eight blocked shots, but fouled out in the final minute trying to block Holloway’s floater. Holloway hit both free throws to make it 81-77 with 58 seconds left.

On Thursday night, Memphis saw its 10-game winning streak snapped when the Tigers squandered a 20-point, second-half lead at home and fell by a single point to South Florida.

There were no sizeable leads to blow this time. Neither team led by more than seven points in an intensely competitive game that had 11 lead changes and 15 ties — not to mention a minor scrum that brought both coaches onto the floor to separate feuding players.

BIG PICTURE

Memphis: Jones has scored at least 10 points in 19 straight games. He’s just the fourth Memphis player to do that since 2016, joining Dedric Lawson, Kendric Davis and DeAndre Williams. The Tigers were done in partly by 14 turnovers, twice the number Tulane committed.

Tulane: It was signature victory for the Green Wave, which had lost 53 straight against AP Top 25 opponents since a 72-63 win over then-No. 25 North Carolina State on Dec. 22, 1999. James’ career high of 30 points also came against Memphis on Jan. 1, 2023.

UP NEXT

Memphis: Visits UAB on Sunday, Jan. 28.

Tulane: Visits UTSA on Wednesday.

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