Memphis beats Rice 73-51 in game marred by fight 

Chris Crawford scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Memphis to a 73-51 victory over Rice Wednesday night, in a game that saw multiple players ejected for fighting.

Antonio Barton added 11 points and Tarik Black had 10, hitting all five of his shots before he was ejected during a skirmish under the Tigers basket with 7:21 left in the game.

Memphis guard Joe Jackson was on a breakaway after a turnover by Rice's Tamir Jackson, who then fouled Joe Jackson hard as he went up for the layup.

Officials immediately called an intentional foul on Tamir Jackson, who was ejected, but the players then got into a tussle under the Tigers' basket that quickly escalated. That brought Memphis coach Josh Pastner running into the fray trying to separate and push players aside.

Will Barton and Trey Draper of Memphis (14-6, 5-1 Conference USA), along with Black, were ejected for leaving the bench.

Tamir Jackson had 10 points for Rice (11-10, 2-4) before being ejected.

By the time all the resulting foul shots fell, the Tigers still led 60-37.

Connor Frizzelle and Omar Oraby also finished with 10 points for the Owls. Oraby also had four blocks.

Arsalan Kazemi, the Owls' leading scorer at 13.9 points per game, entered the game hampered by a bad knee and aggravated the injury just before halftime. He was limited to four points.

The first-half play was ragged at times with Memphis missing shots in close, and Rice having trouble holding onto the ball, committing eight turnovers. Both teams shot poorly in the opening half — Memphis hitting at a 39.4 percent clip (13 of 33) and Rice connecting on 7 of 23 (30.4 percent).

Memphis held a moderate 24-20 lead with 3:25 left before halftime, but went on an 11-1 run to build its biggest lead of the half at 35-21. The Tigers eventually carried a 35-23 lead into the dressing room.

Kazemi, Rice's leading scorer who also leads the conference in rebounding at 11.7 a game, tried to intercept a Memphis pass and got tangled up with Tigers forward D.J. Stephens. Kazemi was on the floor for a short time before being helped to the bench, and eventually to the locker room.

He returned to start the second half, but was limping slightly.

With the Owls' leading scorer hampered, they continued to fall behind.

Memphis opened the second half with a 10-4 burst and eventually carried the lead to 22 near the eight-minute mark of the second half. The lead eventually reached 27.

The only excitement left after that was the fight, which got the crowd back into it. Memphis officials were still talking with the conference office at the end of the game to see if the ejected Tigers players would be suspended for the next game at home against Marshall on Saturday.

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