MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Elliot Williams scored 23 points and
Doneal Mack added 20 in leading Memphis to a 92-59 victory over
Williams was 8-for-12 from the field as the Tigers (2-1)
overcame early shooting woes to finish hitting 56 percent from the
Memphis shot better in the second half, connecting on 68 percent
of its shots (19 of 28), due to defensive pressure which led to
Memphis also began to shoot better from outside the 3-point arc.
"We're playing well defensively, and that's leading to a lot of
offense," said Williams, who transferred from Duke during the
offseason. "Right now, our offense is a little stagnant, but our
defense has picked up a lot."
Willie Kemp added 11 points and six assists, while Roburt Sallie
finished with 10 points for Memphis, which was coming off a 57-55
loss to top-ranked Kansas on Tuesday night.
Kevin Murphy led the Golden Eagles (2-2) with 23 points,
including 15 after the break. Jud Dillard scored 12 for Tennessee, which never led in the game.
The Golden Eagles were playing their second game in as many
nights, and fourth straight on the road. They had trouble keeping
up with the Memphis defensive intensity, and coach Mike Sutton
acknowledged that his team ran out of gas.
"I was thoroughly impressed with their preparation," Sutton
said of Memphis in praising first-year Tiger coach Josh Pastner.
"I thought they handled things well and their schemes were really
Memphis already had built a double-digit lead in the first half
and continued to extend the margin after intermission, eventually
leading by 38.
Tennessee Tech shot 43 percent from the field (23 of 54), but
was hindered by 24 turnovers.
Pastner praised the defensive intensity and how it contributed
to the Tigers offense. He and the Tiger players noted that it will
take that kind of effort all year if they are to be successful.
"We talked about how our identity is to be scrappy," Pastner
said. "To get after it, to stay after it, and to be scrappy. For
us to be able to have a chance to win games, we have to be
Memphis relied, unsuccessfully, on outside shooting early
against the Golden Eagles' zone defense. Memphis hit only two of
its first 10 shots, including 1 of 6 outside the arc.
Tennessee Tech was not having any better luck, missing seven of
its first eight shots
Memphis finally got untracked with a 17-2 run late in the first
half. The rally was capped by Williams' dunk, helping the Tigers
take a 40-23 lead at halftime.
"We had good shots," Williams said of the early misfires.
"We've just got to knock them down. Coach told us we had to drive
more because they seemed like they were having trouble stopping
that. That was about when the run started."
Williams scored 14 for Memphis, while Dillard had 10 in the
Memphis benefited from a defense that forced 11 turnovers, which
allowed the Tigers to get out on the break. The pressure also
seemed to leave the Golden Eagles with contested shots, leading to
35 percent shooting (10 of 29) before halftime.
"We tried to change defenses. If we could have made shots early
on, we could have given them some different looks," Sutton said.
"They were quick to the ball, they made 3s, and they penetrated
The Tigers continued to extend the lead in the opening of the
second half, as fullcourt pressure forced more turnovers and easy
buckets. Memphis' advantage reached 25 in the early stages, and the
Tigers coasted the rest of the way.
"Overall, in terms of effort, toughness and scrappiness, I'm
proud of our guys," Pastner said.