MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Freshman Emoni Bates scored 15 points and Landers Nolley added 12 to help No. 12 to Memphis …
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Freshman Emoni Bates scored 15 points and Landers Nolley added 12 to help Memphis No. 12 defeat North Carolina Central 90-51 Saturday night.
Jalen Duren and Lester Quinones added 10 points each. Duren also had 10 rebounds for the Tigers (2-0), who have won both of their first two games in a dominant manner.
“I think we came out serious from the start. We did not relax,” Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said. “… We did not take them lightly because we felt they were a really good opponent.”
Eric Boone had 11 points to lead the Eagles (0-2), who shot 26.2% and were 3 out of 25 from 3-point range – missing 14 of their 15 long-range shots in the second half. NC Central committed 26 revenue.
“Every time you have it, it’s a win-win,” Hardaway said of NC Central’s shooting percentages both overall and from the perimeter.
Memphis freshman Josh Minott had nine points, nine rebounds and a couple of blocks last Saturday.
“Before I came here, I saw the defense. I think they had the No. 1 defense in efficiency in the country last year, ”he said of Memphis. “When I came here, I realized why that was the case. We stress the defense so much. It’s just something we strive to get better every day.”
Similar to the Tigers’ opening win over Tennessee Tech, Memphis controlled the pace and its defense plagued the Eagles up and down the field.
“We just wanted full throttle from the jump. We know we are capable of a good press,” Minott said.
Memphis had a problem with ball handling in the first half, fumbled passes and slowed momentum, and part of that was because North Carolina Central went to a zone defense.
Memphis would continue to increase its lead in the second half, with the defense generating revenue. The Tigers scored North Carolina Central 38-10 to start the second half.
“The only thing was that after shooting 41 free throws, we only made 31,” Hardaway said. And we gave 19 offensive rebounds and turned the ball 19 times with just 13 assists.
“We still have work to do.”
North Carolina Central: The Eagles may have given Richmond some concern Tuesday before the Spiders claimed a 70-60 victory, but they never really threatened Memphis. The Eagles’ zone defense caused some problems for the Tiger offense in the first half, allowing an Eagle rally before the break, reducing the lead to 38-23.
Memphis: While there was some sloppy play that would have been an issue with a better team, Memphis’ talent overcame the issues.
Memphis’ No. 12 ranking should at least hold in the next poll, and there were no major losses from the teams in the top 11 spots that resulted in a major shuffle.
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The Tigers had several dunks in the match, but one came as a bit of a surprise – when Hardaway’s son, Jayden, came free and slammed a home in the second half. Dunken got a wide-eyed reaction from his father on the sidelines.
Asked after the match which can he thought was the best of the evening, Hardaway replied with a laugh: “I do not want any problems. I’ll take Jayden’s can. ”
North Carolina Central: In Iowa Tuesday night.
Memphis: Hosted Saint Louis Tuesday night.
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