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Memphis holds off Saint Mary's, advances to third round

4:15 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Joe Jackson scored 14 points and Memphis warded off a furious late comeback attempt from Saint Mary's to record a 54-52 victory in an NCAA Tournament Midwest Region second round clash.

Jackson added seven assists and six rebounds to lead the sixth-seeded Tigers (31-4) into a matchup with No. 3 seed Michigan State on Saturday. The Spartans advanced with a 65-54 decision over Valparaiso earlier in the day.

Tarik Black and Adonis Thomas each contributed 12 points for the Conference USA champion Tigers, who built a 15-point first-half lead they nearly squandered after the Gaels' Eividas Petrulis buried a 3-pointer with two seconds left for a 54-52 game.

Saint Mary's then forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds play, but Matthew Dellavedova's long-range attempt at the buzzer clanged off the rim.

Missed shots were a common theme for 11th-seeded Saint Mary's (29-6) throughout the game. Memphis held the Gaels to a 32.8 success rate from the field, with Petrulis' make only the team's third in 15 tries from beyond the arc.

Saint Mary's, which reached the second round via a 67-54 win over Middle Tennessee State Tuesday in Dayton, came into the contest averaging better than 75 points per game. Dellavedova, the Gaels' top scorer on the season, mustered just 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting.

Brad Waldow did make good on 7-of-11 shot attempts to pace Saint Mary's with 17 points.

The Sports Network

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