Memphis Bounces Back to Defeat SEMO 87-57
Go Tigers! Doneal Mack scored 19 points on 7-11 shooting.
Go Tigers!
Doneal Mack scored 19 points on 7-11 shooting.
Go Tigers!

Dec. 22, 2009


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MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Elliot Williams led all scorers with 20 points and four other Tigers scored in double figures as the University of Memphis Tigers defeated the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 87-57 Tuesday afternoon at FedExForum. Memphis improves to 8-2 with the victory, while SEMO falls to 4-8.

Williams narrowly missed recording a triple-double, adding eight assists and a career high nine rebounds to go along with his eighth 20 point performance of the season.

The last time five or more Tigers scored in double figures in a single game came against Maryland on March 21, 2009 in the second round of the NCAA tournament. This is also the second consecutive year that five Tigers have scored in double figures on December 22.

Doneal Mack scored seven of Memphis’ first nine points en route to scoring double figures in back-to-back games for the first time since the 2009 C-USA Tournament against Houston and Tulsa. Mack now has 199 three-pointers for his career and needs only one to reach the 200-treys made plateau.

Willie Kemp scored ten points on 4-8 shooting. It is the first time Kemp has tallied double figures since scoring 11 against Arkansas State on December 5. Pierre Henderson-Niles matched his season-high with 10 points in 19 minutes of action. Niles also had a career high two steals.

Wesley Witherspoon set a career high point total for the second straight game, notching 15 points on 5-8 shooting. It is also the first time the sophomore has scored in double figures in back-to-back games.

Memphis started the game on a 10-0 run before SEMO switched to a two-three zone defense. The Tigers struggled to get good looks while adjusting, and SEMO cut the lead to seven when a layup by Jajuan Maxwell made it 14-7 with 14:18 remaining.

The Tigers then went on a 9-0 run led by five points from Wesley Witherspoon to extend the lead to 23-9. Doneal Mack’s buzzer beating three extended the Memphis lead to 36-22 at the break.

SEMO came out firing in the second half, cutting the lead to as few as 10  after a jumper by Rae-Vonn Banks made the score 43-33 with 14:51 remaining.

Memphis would find its stride however, extending the lead to as many as 33 when Elliot Williams drained a three to make it 87-54 with 2:26 remaining. The Tigers closed the game on a 44-24 run.

After struggling on the glass against UMass, Memphis dominated the boards Tuesday, out-rebounding the Redhawks 42-28. The Tigers also dominated the paint, scoring 46 points compared to SEMO’s 26.

“I thought we obviously did a better job on the glass,” said Coach Pastner. “Our goal was to keep them in single digit offensive rebounds and we did that. We held them under 40 percent field goal shooting and under 30 percent from three-point range, which are rules of ours.”

The Tigers also used heavy ball pressure to force the Redhawks into 17 turnovers and converting them into 27 points. Memphis’ D also held SEMO to just 38.5 percent from the field on 20-52 shooting.

Memphis registered its 100th win at FedExForum with today’s victory. With the victory, Memphis improves to 100-10 (.909 win pct.) in games played at FedExForum, extending its home winning streak to 22 games.

Tuesday’s victory is also Memphis’ 100th victory against Ohio Valley Conference institutions. Memphis ties the all-time series with today’s victory at 2-2.

The Tigers improve to 27-5 in games played over the holidays (Dec. 22-Jan. 4) and have won 12 straight games during that time. 

Memphis will now break for the holidays before returning to FedExForum to face IUPUI on December 28th at noon. 



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