MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) David Jones scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, Jahvon Quinerly added 17 points and six assists, and Memphis held on to beat No. 13 Clemson 79-77 on Saturday.

Nick Jourdain added 11 points for Memphis (8-2).

PJ Hall led Clemson (9-1) with 21 points, while Chauncey Wiggins finished with 19 and Chase Hunter had 13.

Hunter hit the first of two free throws with 1.3 seconds left to cut the Memphis lead to 79-77, but his miss of the second was grabbed by Memphis' Malcolm Dandridge, preserving the Tigers' win.

The second half was tight, with the difference rarely getting beyond one possession. Clemson, off to its best start since starting the 2008-09 season at 16-0, had the lead until a pair of free throws by Quinerly with 4:29 left.

A pair of free throws with 13.5 seconds left by Jaykwon Walton helped Memphis close it out.

The difference in the second half came down to conditioning. Memphis outscored Clemson 47-38 in the half and seemed to gain momentum after erasing a halftime deficit.

“We were tired,” Clemson coach Brad Brownwell said. “Our guys were tired. Our older guys were tired, but our big guys especially.”

That was something Memphis planned its strategy around. Long rebounds and quick outlet passes led to fast transitions, particularly in the second half. But the Tigers had seen the Clemson big men laboring late in the first half.

“We worked all week on getting the ball up and down the court as fast as we could, and it worked,” Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said. “At the end of the game, (the Clemson players) were exhausted.”

After a couple of early runs by both teams, the first half settled into a closely played affair highlighted by tight defense, resulting in misfired shots, particularly for Memphis. Clemson opened a 10-point lead in the half's latter minutes before carrying a 39-32 advantage into the break.

Memphis made its push to open the second half, taking advantage of Clemson's fatigue.

“I thought we fought to the end,” Brownwell said. “We didn't play quite as well as we needed to, certainly, or as well as I would like at times.”

For Hardaway, whose team could reach the Top 25, the win and other victories over teams like Arkansas, Virginia Commonwealth and Texas A&M shows the capabilities. And he says they haven't reached their potential.

“That was true Memphis basketball," Hardaway said.


Clemson: Clemson had won its previous four games by single digits and had a chance in this one to keep that alive, but Memphis made key plays down the stretch. Clemson has two more non-conference games before returning to ACC play on Jan. 2 at Miami.

Memphis: The homestanding Tigers have been among teams receiving votes outside the Top 25. With the win over a Top 25 team, Memphis could move into the rankings. Memphis showed its resilience by trailing at the half, but making the necessary adjustments to wear down Clemson enough to escape with the victory.


Memphis center Malcolm Dandridge scored only four points and was 2 of 8 from the field, but he had huge defensive plays, and his work on the boards made a difference. His grab of the final rebound as time expired, thwarted Clemson's plan to miss the free throw in an attempt to tie the game.


Clemson: Hosts Queens University on Friday.

Memphis: Hosts No. 22 Virginia on Tuesday.


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