No. 19 Memphis Defeats Northwestern State, 94-79
Nov. 17, 2010
By: Preston McClellan
MEMPHIS - Wesley Witherspoon netted his first career double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds and Will Barton added 22 points, including 11 straight in the second half, to lift Memphis past Northwestern State 94-79 Wednesday night at FedExForum.
Led by 14 first-half points from Witherspoon, the Tigers took a 57-44 lead into the break, but the Demons countered with a 21-9 run to open the second half and take the lead 63-61 at the 13:12 mark.
Joe Jackson then found an open Barton in the corner for a trifecta to put the Tigers back on top, 64-63. Barton then picked Devon Baker's pocket near midcourt before gathering the ball and going up for an emphatic two-handed jam to get the fans at FedExForum on their feet.
The Demons' William Mosley responded on the other end with a layup to narrow the gap to 66-65, but Barton answered again with another three to extend the Memphis advantage to 69-65 as the Tigers would finish the game on a 28-14 run.
Barton finished with eight boards and three steal to complement his 22 points in 30 minutes of action. Tarik Black scored all of his nine points in the second half and was a presence inside for Memphis. Fellow big man Angel Garcia also added nine points, all coming in the first half. Jackson, who led Memphis against Miami with 17, finished with eight points and three assists.
Northwestern State was led by Will Pratt, who finished with 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting in 30 minutes of play. Devon Baker (15) and Louis Ellis (11) were the only other Demons to finish in double figures.
After being outrebounded by 20 in its last game, Memphis came out with a purpose, pummeling the Demons on the glass 42-28. The Tigers pulled down 19 offensive rebounds and converted them into 20 second chance points. It was the highest rebounding margin (14) since Memphis outrebounded UCF by 14 on Feb. 10 last season.
The Tigers move to 18-3 all-time against Southland Conference opponents, and 5-0 against Northwestern State, with their 94-79 victory and are now 3-0 on the season, marking third time in the last four years Memphis has begun the season by reeling off three straight victories.
Memphis hits the road for the first time this season for its next matchup against Southeastern Conference foe LSU. The game will be played at BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss. at 4 p.m. as part of the Global Sports Challenge.