Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Dixon Jr. scored nine of his 11 points in the final five minutes to help No. 24 Memphis rally for a 60-54 win over 23rd-ranked Gonzaga at FedExForum.
Shaq Goodwin added 10 points and eight rebounds and Joe Jackson finished with 10 points, four rebounds, five assists and a key block on Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski that helped spark the Tigers' (18-5) comeback.
"Our guys had guts tonight in order to get that win. Sometimes things are deeper than they may seem on the surface. When a team makes a run against us, we cannot allow it to avalanche. Tonight was the first time all year, since Orlando, that we did not let the game avalanche over our team," said Memphis coach Josh Pasnter.
Chris Crawford scored 11 points in the win, Memphis' second straight since falling to SMU on Feb. 1.
"Maybe the losses to SMU, Connecticut or even Cincinnati gave us what we needed to pull out the win tonight," said Pastner.
Sam Dower paced the Bulldogs (21-4) with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Karnowski and Gerard Coleman added 12 points apiece. Gonzaga's leading scorer Kevin Pangos, who entered the contest averaging 15.3 ppg, finished with just seven on 2-of-9 shooting.
The Bulldogs had a seven-game winning streak snapped.
After taking a slim 25-22 lead into the break, Gonzaga opened the second half on a 17-8 run to go up 42-30 with 14:35 left.
Memphis opened up a 12-2 run, though, to pull within 44-42 at the 8:16 mark. Jackson swatted the 7-foot-1 Karnowski's slam dunk attempt, and Goodwin took the ball the other way and knocked down a runner from the foul line to spark the run. Jackson, who sits a full foot shorter than Karnowski at 6-foot-1, rotated over from the weakside and skied to reject the Polish import's attempt at the rim to the delight of the home crowd.
The Bulldogs managed to push their spread back to nine, 52-43, with a quick 8-1 burst. Karnowski and Dower scored four points apiece on the abbreviated run.
Dixon caught fire from there, however, burying a 3-pointer after grabbing his own rebound off a missed layup and just over 3 1/2 minutes later he put Memphis in front 55-54 with a fastbreak layup.
"I thought for long stretches of that game we really dominated, got the ball where we wanted and guys finished plays," said Gonzaga coach Mark Few. "They got a rebound when we were up nine and kicked it out for a three and started that run. We just didn't execute and didn't do a good job on making plays."
Kyle Dranginis and Pangos both missed 3s down the stretch and Memphis went 5- for-6 from the line to seal the win.
Coleman's 3-point play made it 22-16 with 5:20 left in the first half, but the Tigers outscored Gonzaga 6-3 the rest of the way to go into the break trailing 25-22.