LeMoyne-Owen falls to No. 17 Memphis 101-78
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)
LeMoyne-Owen coach William Anderson wanted a barometer on how his team would fare against a nationally-ranked team.
And, despite losing 101-78 to No. 17 Memphis on Saturday, Anderson was not overly disappointed with the effort or the way his Magicians competed.
''We just wanted to measure where we were as a team, to play a top-tier team like Memphis and see if we could compete and execute the things we've been working on,'' Anderson said. ''For the most part, I think we did a good job of accomplishing that.''
Demba Konate led the Magicians (4-10) with 17 points, while Daequan Mitchell-Fields finished with 16 points. Marcel Hawkins had 11 and Jerry Hampton scored 10. The Magicians, a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, lost their third straight and fifth in the last six.
''We thought our bigs matched up pretty well offensively,'' Anderson said ''We've got some things going inside that we like. We did learn that at the Division I level, Memphis is a little stronger. . We know physically we've got to get stronger.''
Nick King scored 18 points in a much-needed win for the Tigers (13-4), who had dropped consecutive home games to Cincinnati and Connecticut.
''It is just a game to bounce back,'' King said. ''(The UConn) loss was a tough loss for the whole team. We just needed this to get our minds back on track.
''At the UConn game, it was a mental thing. This game, we were more locked in because we were in desperation mode. We knew we had to win the game.''
Austin Nichols and Geron Johnson finished with 12 points each for Memphis, Nichols hitting all six of his shots, while Johnson also had nine rebounds and seven assists. Kuran Iverson scored 11 points, and Shaq Goodwin added 10 for the Tigers.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner promised to play LeMoyne-Owen to benefit the small school located in South Memphis and had to schedule the game for January to keep his word.
Anderson recognized the benefit of the game to the Tigers.
''I think Memphis needed an easy win coming off that hard game against Connecticut,'' Anderson said. ''They were able to get some guys some playing time that haven't gotten some playing time, so I think it was a win-win for both institutions.''
The Tigers managed to shoot 60 percent for the half while building a 52-33 lead. King, a reserve, already had 13 points, including connecting on 4 of 5 from the field.
Pastner substituted freely in the half, at times making a complete five-player change. It was a substitution pattern he would follow through much of the game.
No Magicians player was in double figures at the half, but reserve Naffe Toure already had fouled out, playing 8 minutes and missing his only shot. Starter Victor Shell already was saddled with four fouls in the first half and fouled out in the second.
Memphis continued to build the lead after the break as the Tigers converted better than 50 percent of their shots. The Tigers would end the game shooting 59 percent, compared to 40 percent for the Magicians.
Pastner also noted that the Tigers had 29 assists on 38 made field goals.
While the Magicians didn't put up much resistance, Pastner said every win is important, particularly as they try to work their way through conference play.
''It was a good win, and it counts on our official record,'' he said.