Tigers Sink Pirates 67-54 in C-USA Opener

Jan. 9, 2013

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By The Numbers
10 Joe Jackson has registered double-digit scoring efforts in 10-straight games and finished with a team best 15 points against East Carolina.
11 D.J. Stephens recored his second double-digit rebound contest with 11 boards. He also finished with six points, three  blocks, two seals and a season high three assists.
19 Memphis held East Carolina to 19 points in the first half, the lowest total since the Tigers held UCF to 18 on February 28, 2012.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -The University of Memphis men's basketball team (11-3, 1-0 C-USA) fended off a second half run by East Carolina (9-5, 0-1 C-USA) to capture a 67-54 victory and its league-record 200th Conference USA win Wednesday night at FedExForum.

After ECU took a 3-0 lead off a Miguel Paul trey, the Tigers reeled off a 10-0 run over the next 3:25 with four Tigers contributing on the offensive end and D.J. Stephens controlling the defensive side with five rebounds and two blocks.

Memphis continued to open up its lead with a jumper from Adonis Thomas followed by a three from Antonio Barton to build an 18-5 advantage at the 11:24 mark. The Pirates got just its second field goal of the game midway through the first period with a jumper from Ty Armstrong to make the score 18-7.

Chris Crawford and Ferrakohn Hall got in on the offensive action to push the Tigers' lead to 22-7 with eight minutes left in the half. The Memphis defense kept ECU on its heels, forcing two turnovers and a shot clock violation on three-straight possessions while the offense continued to click with a trey from Crawford followed by a layup down low from Tarik Black. Another three from Barton gave Memphis a demanding 32-9 lead with four and a half minutes to play in the half.

A layup from Damien Wilson gave Memphis its largest lead of the half at 39-12 with 2:16 to go. Following the Wilson bucket, the Pirates began a 7-0 run with Maurice Kemp giving ECU all seven points to go into the half down 20, 39-19.

At the half, 10 Tigers had scored for Memphis with Joe Jackson leading the team with seven points. The Tigers outrebounded the Pirates 23-11 in the first period and had a 24-8 advantage in the paint. The 19 points by ECU was the lowest total at the half by a Memphis opponent since last year's Feb. 28 contest against UCF when the Knights scored 18.

The Pirates came out red-hot in the second half, scoring 14 points in less than three minutes. ECU connected on six-straight baskets, including four from long range, to bring their run to 21-0 over 4:17 and cut Memphis' lead to 39-33.

The Tigers ended a five-minute scoring drought with a 7-2 run of their own to make it 46-35 with 13 minutes remaining in the game. However, ECU would not go away easily, pulling back within five after a tip-in off a missed free throw.

The Memphis offense responded with three-straight baskets to increase its lead to 55-44 before ECU's eighth three of the game pulled the Pirates back within single digits with eight minutes to play.

A three by Robert Sampson gave the Pirates just a seven-point deficit but that would be the closest they would get as Memphis finished the game on a 6-0 run to earn a 67-54 win.

Jackson led the Tigers with 15 points, his 10th-straight game in double figures while Shaq Goodwin finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Memphis held an advantage in rebounding (41-23), points in the paint (40-16), fast break points (17-6) and bench scoring (25-6), while the Pirates outshot Memphis behind the arc (9-4).

Memphis heads to Birmingham on Saturday to face UAB at 7:30 p.m. (CT) at Bartow Arena. The game will be televised on CSS.



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