Tigers Pull Away from Bucs, 75-49
Nov. 9, 2010
By Preston McClellan
MEMPHIS - "Winning is hard" was all that University of Memphis head coach Josh Pastner could say after last year's close call with Christian Brothers, but that certainly wasn't the case this season as 11 different Tigers scored en route to defeating the Buccaneers 75-49 at FedExForum on Tuesday night.
"Our thing has been that we cannot play as individuals," University of Memphis head coach Josh Pasnter said. "This has got to be a team effort for us to be successful."
In their final exhibition test before the regular season opener on Friday, the Tigers controlled the opening half, keeping CBU in single digits until the 2:27 mark and took a 30-18 advantage into the break.
CBU cut the lead to single digits three minutes into the half on a jumper by Michael Drake, but Memphis responded with nine straight points, including seven by Antonio Barton to effectively put the game out of reach.
The Tigers would push the lead to as many as 33 after a driving layup from Angel Garcia extended the advantage to 66-33. CBU scored 16 points in the final five minutes to narrow the gap.
Barton finished with 12 points to go along with four assists and three steals in 25 minutes of play to lead a balanced scoring attack in which six Memphis players scored eight or more.
Wesley Witherspoon set the pace on the glass, pulling down nine boards to add to his eight points as the Tigers again won the rebounding battle 43-30. D.J. Stephens, who set the tone for the game with a ferocious block on the first defensive series, finished the game with eight rebounds.
The Tiger bench came up huge for Memphis, scoring 43 of its 75 points compared to just 13 points for the Buccaneer reserves. The Tigers also exploited their size and physicality, mustering 48 points in the paint compared to just 26 for CBU.
"We have the chance to do something special this year, if we put the team above 'I.' We've done a good job for the most part." Pastner said.
The Bucs were led by Zack Warner, who finished with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Dennis Scott added five points and 10 rebounds in 36 minutes.
The Tigers finished the game shooting 50.8 percent from the floor on 30-of-59 shooting, but were only 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from beyond the arc.
Memphis opens the regular season Friday against Centenary at FedExForum. The game is part of a doubleheader with the Memphis women's basketball team. The women kick things off with their season opener against Missouri at 5 p.m., followed by the men's game at 8 p.m. Tickets purchased for either game can be used for both contests.