Jan. 9, 2013
Box Score |
Memphis (11-3, 1-0) 67, East Carolina (9-5, 0-1) 54
Memphis, Tenn. (FedExForum)
Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner
It was a good win. We started out like a house on fire and late in the first half we took our foot off the pedal, and that's something we can't do. We got lackadaisical and had some turnovers. This is everyone's World Series and Super Bowl when they play Memphis. They hit some big-time shots. In the end, we got a W and started out the league 1-0. We didn't keep it simple and that's why we had the turnovers. They had 21 points off of turnovers. The other thing is we have to be better at taking care of leads. We did it against Louisville and we did it against Tennessee. In the end - which is the most important for Tiger nation - they want to continue to see their team get better and that's what we've done.
On the play of Joe Jackson
I thought Joe did a good job on Miguel Paul. He's a good player and East Carolina's a good team. Joe had a good floor game and had a huge shot late. Right now, Joe's approach to the game is at a very high level.
On the team's slow start in the second half
I'm all about energy. We have to do our job and when we have a lead we have to be able to sustain it. If we want to do what we want to do as a team then we can't take our foot off the gas. East Carolina has good players and made good shots. Basketball is a game of runs, and we still ended winning the game by double digits.
East Carolina Head Coach Jeff Lebo
On East Carolina's effort to fight back from 27-point deficit
We were a little bit on our heels to start the game, and I think we weren't quite sure about running the floor. We got good looks early, but we couldn't make a shot. We got down big, came back and scored some points to cut it to 20 at half. Our mindset in the locker room was good. We had the right mindset and said the right things in the locker room. We came out with the right attitude and got right back in the game in the first three or four minutes of the second half.
We dug ourselves such a big hole again, but our kids battled. We kept them in the 60's, which is what we wanted to do in the game. We had a good tempo to start the game, but we just could not finish our buckets. Ty [Armstrong] had two early in the game, both got blocked and he missed the third one. He makes those and we're right in it. We missed a couple open shots, but we didn't want to come in and get in a track meet with them.
You don't win up here, 63-3 in Conference USA, getting in a track meet with them. We had the tempo the way we wanted, and second half I thought we offensively we settled down a little bit.
We got some decent balance. Robert [Sampson] made some big plays for us in the second half and rebounded the ball very well in the second half. He's one guy that can rebound the ball. I think that their pressure bothered us, they really wore on Miguel [Paul], and we don't have a second ball handler. That's one of our weaknesses is that second ball handler out there against a high level offense. We had some turnovers getting the ball up the court, and that's been a problem each time we played them since I've been here. Their athleticism and quickness is off the chain, not just their one-spot, but at every spot.
About their turnovers and their defensive performance
We finally got some points off the turnovers. We actually had more points than they did off of turnovers, which I was surprised to see on the stat sheet at the end, but they're a good basketball team. I told my team at half, that team had Louisville down 18 or 16 in the first half. So they're a good basketball team. When we beat them two years ago, they were all freshman, and now they're juniors and they have some seniors. They don't panic, and they play better together. You have to understand some of the little things that they do better to win basketball games. Their speed and quickness at the guard spots is just hard for us to simulate. It made us kind of get a little bit out of our comfort zone for too long of a time frame, and we didn't respond in particular in the first half.