Memphis Corrals Lipscomb, 88-70
Dec. 30, 2010
By: Preston McClellan
MEMPHIS – Wesley Witherspoon, less than three weeks removed from knee surgery, scored a season-high 28 points and pulled down a career-high 14 boards to lead Memphis to a 88-70 victory over the Lipscomb Bisons Thursday night at FedExForum.
The Tigers turned in one their best shooting performances of the season as they knocked down 34-of-63 (54.0 percent) from the field, including 11-of-22 (50 percent) from beyond the arc en route to picking up their 10th victory of the 2010-11 campaign.
“The guys came out and played a great game,” Memphis head coach Josh Pastner said. “That’s the bottom line.”
After falling behind 4-0, the Tigers responded with stingy defense and good ball movement to build a 34-24 lead with 4:40 to play in the first half. A jump hook from Adnan Hodzic with 2:01 to play capped an 8-1 run by the Bisons that narrowed the Memphis lead to 35-32.
The Tigers closed the half on a 7-0 run topped off by a layup from Antonio Barton to take a 42-32 lead into the break.
Lipscomb stayed in it for the first seven minutes of the second half, coming within six at 59-53 after a triple from Jordan Burgason clanked off the back rim and bounced high into the sky before falling through.
Memphis was too much however, as the Tigers made 12 of their first 13 buckets to start the second half and came back with a decisive 10-0 capped by a trifecta from A. Barton to extend the lead to 69-53 with 10:56 to play. The Bisons would not get within 14 of the Tigers for the remainder of the game.
Will Barton scored 15, including 11 in the opening half, as four Tigers finished in double digits. Joe Jackson had a career-high eight assists to go along with 13 points, and Antonio Barton finished with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting.
Hodzic led Lipscomb with a 22-point, seven-rebound performance in a game-high 36 minutes. Josh Slater (12) and Brandon Brown (10) also finished in double figures for the Bisons.
The Tigers dominated the glass against the Bisons, pulling down 42 rebounds compared to just 23 for Lipscomb. Memphis also finished with 15 second-chance points from 19 offensive boards.
“I’m really proud of the rebounding battle,” Pastner said. “(Lipscomb) crashes the boards very well, and we were able to win the battle by plus-19.”
Memphis continues its run of games against in-state foes Sunday, Jan. 2 when it hosts Tennessee State at 2 p.m. at FedExForum.