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Houston beats Memphis, 67-64, on a Tramon Mark 3 point buzzer-beater

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UPDATED: March 11, 2021 -- 5:07 p.m. CT

POSTED: March 7, 2021 -- 5:32 p.m. CT

HOUSTON, TX (Fertitta Center) -- Houston freshman guard Tramon Mark banked in a three-point shot from near midcourt to beat the buzzer and send the Houston Cougars to a thrilling 67-64 win over the Memphis Tigers. Houston finishes the regular season 21-3 and 14-3 in the American Athletic Conference.

Memphis tied the game moments earlier when Tigers' guard, Boogie Ellis, swished a three-pointer shot after a bricked three-point attempt by teammate Lester Quiñones bounded away from Houston players and was picked up Memphis big man Malcolm Dandridge. Dandridge got the ball then passed to a wide open Ellis.

1.7 seconds remained in the ball game.

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson called timeout. In the huddle, Sampson designed the play for Mark.

"We actually drew that up for Tramon. We work on that kind of stuff all the time. Late game. You just never know."

Sampson mentioned the team has not been in many last second situations this season.

"We haven't had that situation; but, we practice with Marcus throwing it full court. And, we always put a man on the ball. We'll put Kiyron Powell, who's our tallest player on the ball, to obstruct his view. And, Marcus made a great pass. He made a great pass.

"And, the last thing we told Tramon in the huddle was 'You're going to have time to catch it; and dribble it; and get the shot off. So, don't catch it and throw up a bomb it shot. You're going to have time to catch it and dribble it. I think we crossed him and DeJon and had him come right up the middle. The kid made a helluva shot."

After the game, Houston senior forward Justin Gorham acknowledged the team has worked on the play in practice; however, no one made the shot in practice.

"I don't think it's ever worked in practice," Gorham said. "So, now that we was in a game, good to see that it worked. Maybe when we run it again, we'll have some faith."

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Houston senior guard DeJon Jarreau said of the Tramon Mark game-winner: "It's no better way you can go out. Shout out to Tramon! A big shot! I saw it the whole way in."

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Memphis (15-7, 11-4) led Houston 14-7 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. The Tigers' defense disrupted Houston's offense and Houston turned over the ball five times in the first 8 minutes of the game.

Houston went on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 16. Houston's Quentin Grimes scored 5 points during a 7-3 run by Houston. Houston led by 5 three times before increasing the lead to 6 on three occasions. Houston led 38-32 when Quiñones swished a 3 with 1:46 remaining in the half.

Grimes split two free throws to close out the scoring for a 39-35 Houston lead at halftime.

Grimes scored 11 points in the first half to lead Houston. Landers Nolley II scored 12 points in the half to lead Memphis.

Memphis scored the first 7 points in the second half to lead Houston 42-39. DeJon Jarreau hit a pull up jumper to end Houston's scoring drought. Quiñones answered with another three-point basket. Memphis made its first 4 three-pointers of the second half and led 52-50 with 12:06 on the clock.

Jarreau tied the game at 52 and at 54. Justin Gorham scored a layup to tie the game at 56. Memphis freshman big man Moussa Cisse dunked for a 58-56 Tigers' lead. Jarreau nailed a step back three for a 59-58 Houston lead with 6:01 remaining in the game. Cisse split two foul shots to tie the game at 59.

Quentin Grimes converted a three-point play. After a nice up-and-under move in the paint, Marcus Sasser scored a floater for a 64-59 Houston lead with 3:26 on the game clock. Memphis called timeout. DeAndre Williams, Memphis' Mr. Versatile, scored a layup after the timeout to cut Houston's lead to 64-61. Williams missed the foul shot. The Tigers shot 10 for 20 from the line in the game.

Houston missed a few open looks down the stretch which helped keep Memphis in the game.

"Tramon Mark had a huge wide open shot that I thought would have been the dagger," Kelvin Sampson said. "Justin Gorham had a wide open three at the top. A dagger shot. He had a little 5-footer right in front of the basket. A dagger shot. But, we kept getting stops."

"Memphis is a good team," Sampson continued. "They're what we thought they were. We knew they were good coming in. They're not better than what we thought they were. They're exactly what we thought they were."

In terms of bracketology, Memphis needed to defeat Houston today. A win over Houston would have boosted the Tigers' résumé and improved their chances at earning an at-large bid.

Kelvin Sampson has a message for the NCAA Selection Committee:

"I hope that the Committee does the eye test on them (Memphis). If you do the eye test on them, they're going to be ahead of a lot of teams. They can compete with anybody."

DeJon Jarreau finished the game with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Quentin Grimes added 17 points. Justin Gorham added 10 points and 12 rebounds. Tramon Mark had 5 points on 2 for 11 field goal shooting BEFORE he hit the game-winning three-point shot to beat the buzzer.

Houston finished the season a perfect 15-0 at home. Houston has won 25 consecutive home games. Houston has won 63 of their last 66 home games.


Houston's next game is in the quarterfinals of the 2021 AAC Men's Basketball Tournament. The game is scheduled for Friday, March 12, at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX against 10-seed Tulane. Tip time is 6 p.m. ESPNU will broadcast the game.

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