MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Once Memphis started taking the ball to
the glass against Southeast Missouri State, the Tiger offense was
much more effective.
Elliot Williams scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and
handed out eight assists on Tuesday afternoon to lead Memphis to a
87-57 victory over Southeast Missouri State.
The Tigers shot 58 percent (18 of 31) after halftime, connected
on half of their eight 3-point shots to pull away the Redhawks.
"They went to a zone, and that kind of made us settle a little
bit," Williams said. "In the second half, coach (Josh Pastner)
was stressing driving it and getting easier shots."
Doneal Mack added 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field,
including 4-for-8 from beyond the arc as Memphis (8-2) had five
players to score in double figures. Wesley Witherspoon had 15
points, while Willie Kemp and Pierre Henderson-Niles finished with
Cameron Butler led Southeast Missouri State (4-8) with 16
points, while Marland Smith scored 15.
Anthony Allison, Southeast Missouri State's leading scorer with
a 10.5 average, was held to five points, missing nine of his 10
shots from the field. The Redhawks shot 38.5 percent (20 of 52) for
"It was an experience," Smith said of facing the Tigers. "We
wanted to come out as hard as we could and see how we could match
up with them. If we could play with them, we can play with anybody
in our conference (Ohio Valley)."
Despite dominating the boards, causing turnovers and holding the
Redhawks to poor shooting, Memphis hardly looked smooth at times.
There seemed to be a lack of intensity, and offensively, shooters
were willing to settle for long-range attempts against the
Southeast Missouri State zone, until the second half.
Williams began going to the basket, and Macks 3-pointer with
just under 12 minutes left gave Memphis a 21-point lead at 58-37.
"We knew we were outmatched," Smith said, "so we were trying
anything and everything just to try and keep up."
Memphis was coming off a last-second 73-72 loss to Massachusetts
on Saturday. The Tigers were outhustled in that game and beaten on
Things were a bit better Tuesday as the defense caused problems
for the Redhawks from the start. Southeast Missouri missed their
first six shots on the way to shooting 32 percent (8 of 25) before
"We had some inside play, a little outside play, and we had a
chance to hang around in the first half a little bit," Southeast
Missouri State coach Dickie Nutt said. "I was very proud of that.
A loss is a loss. We cant stand losing, but well get back to our
conference and trying to build our program."
Memphis carried a 36-22 lead into the locker room behind 10
points from Mack, whose 3-pointer at the horn gave the Tigers their
The Memphis defense caused 11 of Southeast Missouri's 17
turnovers in the first half. The Redhawks poor shooting included
missing six of nine shots outside the arc before intermission.
Smiths six points led the Redhawk scorers.
"I thought we obviously did a better job on the glass,"
Pastner said, comparing Tuesdays win to the Massachusetts loss.
"Our goal was to keep (Southeast Missouri State) in single-digit
offensive rebounds, and we did that. We held them under 40 percent
shooting and under 30 percent from 3-point range, which are rules
Meanwhile, Memphis goes into the Christmas break with only
losses to Massachusetts and No. 1 Kansas, both on the road. While
Pastner realizes his team still has a lot of work, he was willing
to joke about their record.
"The first 10 games, we have an 80 percent winning
percentage," Pastner said. "I told (Memphis athletic director)
R.C. Johnson before the game: 'Look, I'm going to try to do the
best I can to make sure the Memphis program, no matter how long
were here, to make sure we have an 80 percent winning percentage.
He laughed. And I told him that is not going to be as easy as it
(seems). Maybe, I should have lowered that to about 50 percent."