Will Barton's Career Night Paces No. 21/22 Memphis in 91-60 Win Over Austin Peay
Dec. 3, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Will Barton scored 22 points, grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds and dished out a career-high-tying six assists and Memphis connected on 15 three-point shots en route a 91-60 win over visiting Austin Peay. Adonis Thomas recorded 17 points on 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) shooting, including 5-of-6 (83.3 percent) from three-point range.
Joe Jackson added 11 points and Tarik Black chipped in 10. Chris Crawford notched nine points and a game-high seven assists, which also ties his season-high. The 31-point victory is the largest of the season for the Tigers, who improve to 4-2. Austin Peay falls to 0-9 with the loss.
Memphis' 15 made three-point shots came on 25 attempts (60.0 percent), en route 32-of-56 (57.1 percent) shooting. The Tigers finished one three-pointer away from tying the school-record, 16, set against Marquette on February 14, 2004.
Austin Peay struggled from the floor, finishing the game 24-of-72 (33.3 percent) and 2-of-10 from long-range.
Just as they did in the first 20 minutes, the Tigers dominated the second half. Jackson, Crawford, Thomas and Will Barton each scored during a 10-6 run to open the frame and Memphis never looked back.
Antonio Barton took a scary tumble when he was fouled by the Governors' Herdie Lawrence on a fast-break. Barton connected on one of the two free throws, putting the Tigers ahead, 73-42.
Then came the high-flying acrobatics from the Tigers. With 8:48 remaining, Jackson stole the ball from Austin Peay and fed Black for a highlight-reel dunk in transition. The monstrous slam brought the crowd of 16,989 to its feet.
Crawford ripped off a pass from the Governors, starting a Tiger-fast break, and laid the ball off of the backboard. D.J. Stephens came soaring through the air for another crowd-pleasing dunk, increasing Memphis' lead to 86-54 with 2:48 left.
White-hot shooting propelled Memphis to a 52-27 advantage heading into the locker room. The Tigers were impressive from the field, shooting 18-of-29 (62.1 percent), but were a staggering 11-of-15 (73.3 percent) from three-point territory.
Austin Peay was held to 29.4 percent (10-of-24) from the floor in the half, including 25 percent (1-of-4) from beyond the arc.
On its first couple of possessions, Memphis was sloppy with the ball and committed a pair of uncharacteristic turnovers. However, Witherspoon and Jackson each knocked down a pair of three-point shots on the next two possessions. Thomas got in the action with a three of his own, giving the Tigers a four-point lead, 9-5, heading into the first media timeout.
Memphis continued its 3-point barrage coming out of the timeout, with Crawford sinking two three-pointers and Thomas adding his second. The first 18 points of the game for the Tigers were scored from three-point territory. With Will Barton's three at the 11:22 mark in the first half, six Tigers combined for 8-of-9 (88.9 percent) shooting from beyond the arc to give Memphis a 28-12 lead.
Thomas was the first Tiger to reach double-figures when he knocked down back-to-back treys, giving him four 3-pointers and 12 points with 6:12 remaining. Will Barton collected his second double-double of the season at the 1:04 mark of the first half when he grabbed his 10th board. He finished the half with 13 points.
Melvin Baker paced the Governors with 15 points, on 7-of-14 shooting, and seven rebounds. Will Triggs added five points and collected a team-high eight boards.
Memphis returns to the hardwood on Tuesday when they travel to Miami for a clash with the Hurricanes at 8:00 p.m. CT. In 12 meetings between the two programs, Memphis leads the series 7-5. The Tigers took last year's contest, 72-68, at FedExForum.