No. 11 Memphis Runs Past Nicholls, 98-59
Nov. 23, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The No. 11/11 University of Memphis men's basketball team (2-1) totaled 31 points from the charity stripe and had five players score double figures in a 98-59 victory over Nicholls (0-4) on Saturday night at FedExForum.
Austin Nichols led the Tigers with a career-high 20 points while Joe Jackson added 18 points with 14-of-15 coming from the line. Michael Dixon Jr. tallied 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting including a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Nick King (12) and Chris Crawford (11) also reached double figures for Memphis. The Tigers shot 53 percent from the field with 22 assists on 31 made buckets, while holding Nicholls to 36 percent.
Memphis built an 11-4 lead by the first media timeout with seven points coming from the Tigers' big men, Shaq Goodwin and Nichols, in addition to four points from Jackson at the charity stripe. Memphis capped off a 10-0 run after a three-point play from Dixon Jr. that made it 16-4 at the 14:09 mark.
The Colonels pulled within 18-8 before a wide-open three from Dixon Jr. extended the Tigers' lead to 21-8. Memphis pushed its advantage to 23-8 before Nicholls reeled off five-straight points midway through the half with a bucket from Cade Towers and a three-pointer from Amin Torres.
The Tigers maintained a double-digit lead until a three-pointer by Luke Doyle made it 29-22 with 7:42 to go in the half. Memphis pushed it back to double figures with baskets from Dixon Jr. and King for a 34-22 game with seven minutes left in the half.
Leading by 10, Nicholls posted a new career-high with his ninth point after a feed from Geron Johnson to make it 36-24. The Tigers began to run away from the Colonels with four-straight points from Jackson at the free-throw line and another basket from Nichols for a 42-24 game with three and a half minutes to go in the half.
Nichols continued to dominate in the paint with another basket to open up a 20-point advantage for Memphis with less than three minutes to play in the first half.
Memphis extended its lead to 24 before Nicholls added a bucket with 30 seconds to play to make it a 51-29 halftime score. Jackson and Nichols each tallied 13 first half points to lead the Tigers. Memphis finished the opening period 20-of-26 from the free throw line.
Memphis opened up a 26-point lead early in the second half before the Colonels answered with a 6-0 spurt.
The Tigers then put it away by going on a 16-2 run thanks to two triples from Dixon Jr. and one from Crawford, followed by back-to-back buckets from Nichols to make it 71-37 with 11:54 to play.
Memphis continued to keep its distance from the Colonels as King knocked down a bucket from downtown to increase the Tigers' lead to 81-47 with 7:36 to play.
The Tigers' appearances at the stripe kept mounting up with two apiece from Goodwin and Jackson before a bucket from Dominic Woodson pushed the Memphis lead to 87-47 with 5:45 to go.
Woodson was Memphis' go-to player down the stretch as he added two more baskets to extend the Tigers' advantage to 92-49 with 3:11 left in the game.
The Colonels cut into the deficit with a late 8-2 run with two three-pointers from Piers Carroll to make the final score 98-59.
Memphis returns to the court when it travels to Orlando, Fla., for the Old Spice Classic, Nov. 28-Dec. 1. The Tigers begin the tournament on Thanksgiving Day with a 5:30 p.m. (CT) contest against Siena.