Tigers Sink Pirates 77-57 for 63rd Straight C-USA Victory
Jan. 13, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Wesley Witherspoon poured in a career high 22 to help the University of Memphis Tigers (12-4; 2-0 C-USA) defeat the East Carolina Pirates (6-11; 0-3 C-USA), 77-57, Wednesday night at FedExForum. The win marks the Tigers’ 63rd consecutive Conference USA victory.
Doneal Mack added 15 points in 27 minutes of action. Mack’s 15 points vaulted him across the 1,000 career points mark, making him the 46th Tiger to do so.
Willie Kemp tallied a season high 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Kemp also knocked down three buckets from beyond the arc.
Memphis got off to a somewhat lackluster start and allowed ECU to hang around for most of the first half. The Pirates scored five straight to end the half trailing 33-24.
Elliot Williams, who scored 33 in the Tigers’ last outing against Southern Miss, was held scoreless in the first half on 0-of-4 shooting.
The Tigers came out firing in the second half and opened on a 13-1 run to extend their lead to 48-27 at the 16:14 mark. The Pirates then made a 12-1 run of their own to climb back into the game and trailed just 49-40 with 11:34 to play.
Memphis then began to pull away and extended its lead to 60-43 after a 12-0 run sparked by seven points from Mack. The Tigers would extend their lead to as many as 23 when a three point basket by Drew Barham made it 77-54 at the 1:11 mark.
ECU was led by Brock Young who scored 21 points in 36 minutes of action. Jontae Sherrod chipped in with 11, but was relegated to the bench after picking up his fifth foul with over nine minutes still to play.
With the win, Memphis ties Kentucky’s record of 51 consecutive regular season conference victories. The Tigers have won 63 consecutive C-USA games including the conference tournament.
Wesley Witherspoon also set career highs with six made field-goals and nine made free-throws. Witherspoon is the fourth player this season to lead the Tigers in scoring, joining Elliot Williams, Roburt Sallie and Doneal Mack.
The Tigers shot a respectable 46.6 percent from the field, including 38.1 percent from beyond the arc. Memphis also knocked in 15-of-22 free throws.
Memphis used turnovers to its advantage once again, forcing ECU into 17 giveaways and converting them into 24 points. The Tigers also dominated the paint, scoring 30 points in the lane compared to just 10 for the Pirates.
East Carolina is now the 10th opponent that Memphis has held under 60 points. The Pirates shot just 36 percent from the field, including 35.3 percent from the three point line.
Memphis now travels to Houston, Texas for an away matchup with conference foe Rice. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 pm (CT) tip on January 16.