The Tigers (13-6, 4-1 Conference USA) trailed 36-35 with 13 minutes to play, but outscored the Mustangs 19-2 over the next 11 minutes to pull away.
During a stretch of the second half, SMU (10-9, 2-3) connected on only 2 of 18 shots to help Memphis build a double-digit lead.
Memphis controlled the boards 36-27, including 13 off the offensive glass, leading to 14 second-chance points.
Memphis had 9-point lead, 30-21, in the first half but SMU closed out the period with seven straight points to lead 30-28 at the break.
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