MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Precious Achiuwa scored 10 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 28.2 seconds left, and Memphis beat No. 22 Houston 60-59 on Saturday.
Malcolm Dandridge scored 12 points and Lester Quinones and Tyler Harris had 10 points apiece as Memphis (19-8, 8-6 American Athletic Conference) won its second straight.
Caleb Mills led Houston (21-7, 11-4) with 21 points and Marcus Sasser added 18 points for the Cougars. Mills’ jumper with 4 seconds left was off the mark. Houston missed its last four shots.
Houston was without guard Quentin Grimes, its second-leading scorer at 11.8 points per game. Grimes was dealing with a hip pointer.
The Cougars were forced to play catch-up for much of the game.
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Sasser’s 3-pointer gave Houston the lead with just under seven minutes left. It started a string of nine straight points for Sasser.
The teams exchanged leads down the stretch. Mills converted a pair of free throws with 47 seconds left to tie it at 59. Achiuwa then made the second of two free throws for the final margin.
By the midway point of the first half, neither team was shooting well. Memphis, which struggled early, managed to take the lead.
The Tigers put together enough of an offensive push during the middle stages of the first half to build the lead to eight points on a couple of occasions. Memphis led 27-23 at halftime with Houston shooting 26% from the field.
Houston: The Cougars improved their shooting in the second half, going 12 for 26 (46%), but went cold again in the final minutes.
Memphis: The Tigers needed the win since they are considered outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament. Memphis struggled from the field, especially Achiuwa, Boogie Ellis and Quinones, who combined to go 3 of 24. Dandridge made all five of his shots.
Houston: Hosts Cincinnati on March 1.
Memphis: At SMU on Tuesday.