The weather in Memphis, TN was not too pleasant with the people in the city, especially to the 15,021 Memphis fans who came out to support the Memphis Tigers Basketball team. The No. 15 Tigers (8-2) had put their loss to the No. 16 Florida Gators behind them and was focused on playing Southeast Missouri State (7-4) of the Ohio Valley Conference. Little did the fans know that this game was not going to be a breeze through for Memphis as they had to battle to get the win over Southeast Missouri State.
Memphis got back to their winning ways defeating Southeast Missouri State by the final score of 77-65.
“Good win,” Pastner quickly said after the Tigers’ win. “That’s a very good basketball team. They are well-coached and they have good players. Our defensive was good. We forced them into 19 turnovers. And to be able to win the game by double digits still being 2-of-17 from three, says a lot about our defense.”
In the first half, Southeast Missouri had Memphis number on the boards out rebounded the Tigers 21-15. The Tigers had no answer for the lack of effort they showed on the glass. Somehow the Tigers made up for it on the scoring end. Senior guard Joe Jackson was red hot for Memphis in the first half shooting a perfect 100 perfect (6-of-6) from the field throw line. He led the team in scoring with 12 points. As for the rest of the Tigers, sophomore forward Shaq Goodwin had a decent first half scoring eight points along with grabbing three rebounds and dishing out three assists. He shot 66.6 percent (4-of-6) from the field. With these two guys scoring and keeping Memphis above water for the most part, the Tigers went into halftime with a 38-30 lead.
As a team, Memphis shot 48.4 percent (15-of-31) from the field and 70 percent (7-of-10) from the line. They shot a horrible 12.5 percent (1-of-8) from deep with the three coming from senior guard Chris Crawford early in the first half.
With Memphis holding their own on the offensive end, they had a hard time stopping Southeast Missouri from scoring points in the paint. They were able to score 18 of their 30 first half points in the paint. Tyler Stone was carrying his team the entire first half with his aggressive play on both ends of the court. He went into halftime with 14 points and five rebounds. He went 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) from the field. The entire team shot 41.4 percent (12-of-29) from the field. They didn’t shoot well from long range going 2-of-9 (28.6 percent) from deep, but they did an outstanding job shooting 80 percent (4-of-5) from the free throw line.
Going into the second half, Southeast Missouri was on Memphis’ heels until the 15 minute mark. Stone kept his team in the game finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds, three turnovers and one assist. He also had help from teammates Jarekious Bradley and Antonius Cleveland. Bradley added 19 points, six rebounds and four assists. Cleveland was not too far behind him with 14 points.
The Tigers started to get going with a 7-0 run with 14:23 left in the game to take a 49-38 lead. Southeast Missouri wouldn’t get closer than seven points when the Tigers were up 62-55 with 6:58 remaining in the game. From there, the Tigers had complete control of the game with clutch shots made by Jackson, Goodwin and senior guard Chris Crawford, who was recognized before the game for scoring over 1,000 points in his collegiate career.
Goodwin finished as the leading scorer for Memphis with 20 points, eight rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. Jackson had a good night finishing with 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Senior guard Geron Johnson had a quiet night with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal. He shot 50 percent (4-of-8) from the field.
As a team, the Tigers shot 51.6 percent (16-of-31) from the field and 68.4 percent (13-of-19) from the line in the second half. Freshman guard/forward Nick King didn’t have a goodnight on the stats sheet finishing the game with five points and three rebounds, still he had something to say about the win over Southeast Missouri.
“I felt like we played good overall as a team,” King said. “I came in and did whatever my team needed for me to do. We just bonded together.”
The Tigers will be back in action on Saturday at the Forum to take on Jackson State (4-7). Tip-off for the game is 11 a.m. CST.