Tigers Cruise to Victory Over Pirates, 70-59
Feb. 8, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Memphis led by as many as 19 points before defeating East Carolina, 70-59, on Wednesday evening. Chris Crawford scored a game-high 16 points and Will Barton chipped in 15. Joe Jackson added seven points and seven assists.
Wesley Witherspoon continued his strong play over the last four games, posting 12 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. The double-double is Witherspoon's first since recording 28 points and 14 rebounds against Lipscomb on Dec. 30, 2010.
The Tigers have now won 11 of their last 13 games and improve to 17-7, 7-2 C-USA, on the season, while ECU drops to 12-11, 3-7 C-USA.
Six-straight points from Crawford put Memphis up by 16 early in the second half, but a four-minute scoreless streak and 10-point run by East Carolina allowed the Pirates back into the game.
Memphis responded with seven-consecutive points, sparking a 22-9 run over the next nine minutes of play to regain control of the game.
The U of M shot 46.7 percent (28-of-60) from the field and held ECU to 38.6 percent on 22-of-57 shooting. Memphis also held decisive advantages in points in the paint (40-24), points off turnovers (21-9), fast-break points (12-4) and bench points (22-14). East Carolina won the rebounding battle, 37-34, and tallied more second chance points, 16-10.
Using a 17-5 run over the last nine minutes of the first half, Memphis held a 37-25 lead at the break. ECU was held scoreless for a stretch of 4:22, during which the U of M scored 10-unanswered points. Crawford paced Memphis with 10 points, Ferrakohn Hall added six, and Jackson recorded five points and four assists.
The two teams were nearly identical in their field-goal percentage, 44.4 percent (16-of-36) for Memphis and 43.5 percent (10-of-23) for East Carolina. However, the Tigers led in every other major statistical category, rebounds (20-16), turnovers (3-8), points off turnovers (10-3), points in the paint (24-12), second chance points (10-4) and bench points (12-3).
Memphis is back in action this coming Saturday when UAB comes to FedExForum for the second regular-season meeting between the two squads this year. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. (CT). Memphis won the first contest in Birmingham, 62-59, on Jan. 7.