Tigers Overpower Tulsa, 75-53
March 6, 2010
Preston McClellan, Undergraduate Assistant -
MEMPHIS, Tenn.--Will Coleman scored 15 points and four other players notched double-figures as the Memphis Tigers blew past the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 75-53 in front of 17,238 fans at FedExForum Saturday afternoon.
For Tiger seniors Willie Kemp and Doneal Mack, it was the last go around at FedExForum, and they made it count. Kemp recorded a career-high 10 assists, while Doneal Mack knocked down 5-of-8 from the field and tallied 14 points.
The seniors' contributions were more evident on the defensive end, however, as the two combined to hold Tulsa point guard Ben Uzoh to six points on just 2-of-5 shooting. Uzoh scored 20 points to go along with 10 assists and eight rebounds in Tulsa's last matchup with Memphis.
Wesley Witherspoon scored 11 points and has now scored in double-figures in 18 of the last 23 games. Elliot Williams notched 10 points in 26 minutes of action. The sophomore has now scored in double-figures in 29 of 31 games this season.
Angel Garcia was the fifth Tiger in double-figures, tallying 11 points to go along with four rebounds and two blocks in 12 minutes of action.
Both teams struggled on offense to begin the game and Memphis took a 6-4 advantage with 12:29 remaining in the opening half. Tulsa came back to tie things up at 11 at the 10:00 minute mark before Mack swished a trifecta to spark a 9-0 run. Memphis took a 30-19 lead into halftime.
The Tigers held the Golden Hurricane to just 19 points in the first half, marking the third time Memphis has held its opponent under 20 points in the opening period this season and the first in Conference USA play.
The Tigers had nine different players score in the first half, with no one scoring more than five points. Memphis shot 50 percent from both the field and from beyond the arc in the opening half.
Williams, who was held to just two points in the first 20 minutes of play, set the tone for the second half by coming off a screen and drilling a three-pointer to extend the Memphis lead to 33-19 with 18:30 remaining.
The two teams would then trade buckets, with Memphis holding a 37-25 advantage with 15:27 in the second. Memphis then scored 11 unanswered points in a two minute stretch, capped by a fast break triple from Angel Garcia to extend to the lead to 48-25. Tulsa never cut the lead to fewer than 19 for the remainder of the game.
Tulsa was led by 19 points from senior Jerome Jordan , with 16 of those coming in the final 10:24 of the game. Bishop Wheatley scored 12 points in the first half, but was held scoreless after the break. Uzoh scored six points, dished out seven assists and grabbed four boards.
"Our game plan didn't work," said Tulsa head coach Doug Wojcik. "They made shots. It was really the tempo we wanted. Defensively, they really took Ben Uzoh out of the game."
Wheatley has scored in double figures twice in C-USA play, both times came against the Tigers. He shot six-of-eight from the field in the first half. The rest of the team connected on two-of-16 shots.
The Tigers improve to 20-12 all-time against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Memphis has won the last 12 vs. Tulsa.
Saturday's win is 127th win in the careers of Mack and Kemp. Kemp and Mack have the second-most wins of any Tiger senior class in school history, and move into a tie for eighth for most wins in a senior class in NCAA history.
Walk on senior Aaron Jacques scored a career-high three points on Senior Day. His previous high was two points scored against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 20.
Memphis next plays in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament on March 11. The Tigers secured the number two seed and a bye in the first round.