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Crawford's 28 lead Memphis over South Carolina 70-54

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Markel Crawford hadn't felt this dominant offensively since his high school days at Memphis Melrose.

''Probably against Oak Hill (in 2012). Just being out there with the mindset that, `Nobody out here can guard me,''' Crawford said. ''That was sort of my mindset today.''

The 6-5 junior guard scored a career-high 28 points and Dedric Lawson added 19 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high eight assists to help Memphis beat South Carolina 70-54 on Friday night.

Jimario Rivers added 10 points for Memphis (10-4), which shot 60 percent (9 of 15) in the second half in avenging an 86-78 loss at South Carolina (10-3) last season.

But it was Crawford's offensive efficiency against a Gamecocks squad ranked among the nation's best defensive teams that was the story for Memphis.

Crawford went 9 of 13 from the field, 10 of 12 from the free-throw line and added seven rebounds. His previous career high was 20 points, which he set in a Dec. 17 win at Oklahoma. South Carolina came into the game ranked third nationally in defensive efficiency.

''We worked on changing his shot (in the offseason) and he's on balance. That's something he's really worked on hard,'' Memphis coach Tubby Smith said of Crawford, who had a career average of just 5.6 points before this season. Crawford came into Friday's game averaging 13.5 points - third-best on the team.

''That's what he needs to do,'' Smith continued. ''Combine that ability to shoot the outside shot with taking people off the dribble.''

It was Memphis' first win this season against a top-100 RPI opponent. The Tigers, coming off a 58-54 home loss to SMU on Tuesday, had been 0-4 against top-100 teams this season.

PJ Dozier had 13 points and Rakym Felder and Justin McKie added 10 apiece to lead the Gamecocks, who shot just 31.6 percent for the game, including 28.1 percent in the second half.

''Memphis just lost to SMU a couple of days and they came out pissed and on edge. Tubby wasn't having it,'' South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said. ''We saw that in the way they played tonight. Now, we have to respond in a similar way (following a loss). We tried to play hard tonight. We didn't play well, but we can't cry because one loss can become two losses.''

Gamecocks senior guard Sindarius Thornwell didn't play for a sixth straight game due to suspension for a violation of athletic department policy.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: The Gamecocks have now dropped three of their last five games after starting the season 8-0.

Memphis: Despite having won at Oklahoma this month, the Tigers earned its first win of the season against a top-100 RPI team Friday. South Carolina came into the game with an RPI of 28, per ESPN.

TURNING POINT

After trailing by 10 in the first half, South Carolina cut Memphis' lead to 43-41 on Felder's 3-pointer with 9:37 left in the game. But Crawford then sparked a 9-0 run to push Memphis' lead to 52-41, converting a layup and a 3-point play during the run.

The Gamecocks never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

QUOTABLE

''(South Carolina athletics director) Ray (Tanner) and I will talk when we get back,'' Coach Martin said of Thornwell's suspension. ''It's something we need to speak about privately and make a decision accordingly.''

MORE ON CRAWFORD

Crawford scored in double figures Friday for the 13th time in 14 games this season. He entered the season having scored in double figures just nine times over his first two playing seasons at Memphis.

Crawford redshirted as a freshman, recovering from an ACL tear he suffered before his senior season of high school.

UP NEXT

South Carolina opens SEC play Wednesday night at Georgia. The 9-4 Bulldogs have won four of their last five, including a 96-84 decision at Auburn on Thursday in the teams' SEC opener.

Memphis returns to American Athletic Conference play Thursday when it hosts Connecticut. The Tigers lost their AAC opener on Tuesday, falling 58-54 to SMU. UConn is 5-7, having dropped two straight to Auburn and Houston.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Offensive foul turnover on Rakym Felder 26.0
  Offensive foul turnover on Rakym Felder 26.0
  Offensive foul turnover on Rakym Felder 26.0
+ 1 Markel Crawford made 2nd of 2 free throws 35.0
+ 1 Markel Crawford made 1st of 2 free throws 35.0
  Personal foul on Christian Schmitt 35.0
  Rakym Felder missed 3-pt. jump shot 37.0
+ 1 Markel Crawford made 1st of 3 free throws 43.0
+ 1 Markel Crawford made 1st of 2 free throws 43.0
  Shooting foul on Hassani Gravett 43.0
+ 1 Maik Kotsar made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:05
Team Stats
Points 54 70
Field Goals 18-57 (31.6%) 20-43 (46.5%)
3-Pointers 9-25 (36.0%) 1-7 (14.3%)
Free Throws 9-15 (60.0%) 29-37 (78.4%)
Total Rebounds 35 32
Offensive 15 10
Defensive 18 21
Team 2 1
Assists 12 14
Steals 6 4
Blocks 2 4
Turnovers 17 16
Fouls 30 18
Technicals 0 0
13 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST
28 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo South Carolina 10-3 282654
home team logo Memphis 10-4 333770
Team Stats
away team logo South Carolina 10-3 74.4 PPG 40.1 RPG 13.2 APG
home team logo Memphis 10-4 81.3 PPG 40.5 RPG 15.8 APG
Key Players
00
P. Dozier G PPG RPG APG FG%
00
M. Crawford G PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
P. Dozier G 13 PTS 5 REB 2 AST
M. Crawford G 28 PTS 7 REB 1 AST
31.6 FG% 46.5
36.0 3PT FG% 14.3
60.0 FT% 78.4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. Dozier 13 5 2 5/16 2/5 1/2 5 24 1 0 2 1 4
J. McKie 10 1 2 4/8 2/3 0/0 2 21 0 0 2 1 0
C. Silva 6 8 1 2/3 0/0 2/2 5 17 1 1 3 2 6
M. Kotsar 5 5 2 2/7 0/0 1/2 3 30 0 0 3 3 2
D. Notice 2 2 1 0/8 0/7 2/4 1 24 0 0 4 1 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. Dozier 13 5 2 5/16 2/5 1/2 5 24 1 0 2 1 4
J. McKie 10 1 2 4/8 2/3 0/0 2 21 0 0 2 1 0
C. Silva 6 8 1 2/3 0/0 2/2 5 17 1 1 3 2 6
M. Kotsar 5 5 2 2/7 0/0 1/2 3 30 0 0 3 3 2
D. Notice 2 2 1 0/8 0/7 2/4 1 24 0 0 4 1 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Felder 10 2 1 3/8 3/7 1/3 2 24 1 0 2 1 1
H. Gravett 8 1 2 2/4 2/3 2/2 5 25 0 0 1 1 0
J. Holliman 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
K. Gueye 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 8 1 0 0 0 2
S. Keita 0 7 1 0/3 0/0 0/0 4 25 2 1 0 5 2
C. Schmitt 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
S. Thornwell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Blanton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Ragin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Corchiani - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Tut - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Hinson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 54 33 12 18/57 9/25 9/15 30 200 6 2 17 15 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Crawford 28 7 1 9/13 0/2 10/12 2 38 1 0 3 2 5
D. Lawson 19 15 8 4/9 0/1 11/13 4 37 1 2 4 4 11
J. Rivers 10 2 0 4/7 0/0 2/2 4 25 1 1 2 1 1
J. Martin 5 2 2 1/4 0/1 3/3 3 32 0 1 3 1 1
K. Lawson 1 4 1 0/6 0/0 1/4 2 29 1 0 1 2 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Crawford 28 7 1 9/13 0/2 10/12 2 38 1 0 3 2 5
D. Lawson 19 15 8 4/9 0/1 11/13 4 37 1 2 4 4 11
J. Rivers 10 2 0 4/7 0/0 2/2 4 25 1 1 2 1 1
J. Martin 5 2 2 1/4 0/1 3/3 3 32 0 1 3 1 1
K. Lawson 1 4 1 0/6 0/0 1/4 2 29 1 0 1 2 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Clergeot 5 0 2 2/3 1/2 0/1 1 21 0 0 1 0 0
C. Randall II 2 0 0 0/1 0/1 2/2 1 9 0 0 2 0 0
C. Kessee 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 6 0 0 0 0 1
J. McDowell 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
A. Moffatt 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
C. Rykhoek - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Sameh Azab - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bins - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Castro - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 70 31 14 20/43 1/7 29/37 18 200 4 4 16 10 21