Memphis Runs Past LeMoyne-Owen, 119-67, in Exhibition Opener
Nov. 2, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -Hot shooting and lockdown defense got the 2011-12 Memphis men's basketball season going Wednesday night as the Tigers posted a 119-67 victory over Div. II LeMoyne-Owen College in their first exhibition game. Seven Tigers scored in double figures on the night led by Will Barton with 22 points. LOC's Teshawn Byron paced all scorers with 33.
Memphis was impressive on both sides of the ball, shooting 60.3 percent from the field while holding LOC to just 38.6 percent shooting and forcing 25 turnovers. The Tigers outscored the Magicians 40-11 off takeaways. In addition to Will Barton's scoring total, the Tigers got 16 points each from Antonio Barton, Charles Carmouche and Wesley Witherspoon while Stan Simpson added 14, Adonis Thomas tallied 11 and Joe Jackson added 10 points. Hippolyte Tsafack was the Tigers' top rebounder with six boards.
The Tigers trailed early after turnovers on two of their first three possessions but got going with a trey from Jackson followed by a quick steal off the inbounds pass and a layup from Will Barton. Byron singlehandedly kept the Magicians in the game with eight points in the first three minutes, but the Tigers proved too hot to handle with a 7-for-7 start from the field, including 11 points from Barton, to establish a 19-14 lead at the 14:40 mark.
Newcomers Thomas and Simpson got in on the scoring action to give Memphis its first double-digit lead of the night at 30-20 midway through the first half. However, Byron was unstoppable from beyond the arc and continued to drain timely shots to prevent the Tigers from running away. His 17 points and 4-for-4 shooting from long distance had the Magicians within eight points at 33-25 with 8:50 left in the half.
But free throws eventually made the difference as Memphis scored the next seven straight points from the line, the beginning of a 19-0 run. The Tigers eventually established a 57-29 halftime lead, outscoring LOC 24-4 over the final eight minutes as turnovers and fouls plagued the Magicians. Barton led the way for the Tigers in the first half with 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting.
LOC scored four of the first six points out of the break, but after a Barton shooting exhibition in the first frame, it was Carmouche's turn to wow the crowd with seven points in the first three minutes of the second half. Back-to-back scores from Witherspoon punctuated by a trey from Thomas put the Tigers up 76-36 at the 15:26 mark. Byron reached the 30-point mark with a mid-range jumper with 11:46 left to play, but points were difficult to come by for the Magicians, who trailed 89-44 midway through the half.
With the game in hand, Barton continued to feed the highlight reel, bringing the crowd to its feet with an alley-oop dunk off a long pass from Chris Crawford. The FedEx Forum went wild again at the 5:56 mark when Carmouche drained a three to push the Tigers into triple digits at 102-54. A total of 14 Tigers saw action in the contest as Memphis closed out the 119-67 win.
The Tigers will play their final exhibition game Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. against Christian Brothers in the FedEx Forum. The regular season tips off Nov. 15 against Belmont.