MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)-- Memphis coach John Calipari is constantly
yelling "speed, speed, speed" to his team from the bench.
The ninth-ranked Tigers followed his orders and used a fast pace
to beat Jackson State 97-70 Wednesday night.
"It's a big part of our game," forward Rodney Carney said.
"If we didn't have any speed, we wouldn't win that many games. We
try to press them and try to get them to play fast. That's the way
we play. If we don't play real fast, I don't think we have much of
a chance to win."
Carney scored 25 points and matched his career-high with six
3-pointers. Shawne Williams added 17 points for Memphis (5-1),
which won its second straight after losing 70-67 to top-ranked Duke
in the finals of the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament.
"I thought our guys were a little bit timid at the beginning of
the game," Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson said. "Instead
of going up and finishing and looking for a three-point play, we
were trying to sneak in there and get baskets. You can't do that.
You have to go in there with some authority."
Jackson State (1-4) was never in the game after going scoreless
for seven minutes early in the game. Memphis was able to gain a big
advantage through its transition game, wearing down Jackson State,
leading to turnovers and poor shooting. Memphis also had 15 blocks,
tying a school record and intimidating Jackson State's inside
shooters. By the end of the game, most of the Jackson State players
were settling for outside shots.
Williams had four blocks, while Robert Dozier had five to go
with a team-high 12 rebounds as Memphis controlled the boards
"We're not a team to walk the ball up the court all the time,"
Williams said. "The quicker we get it out and run the court, the
better shots we get and the more easy plays we get."
Memphis dominated from the start, building a 27-point lead in
the first half, before settling in at the break with a 45-25
advantage. The Tigers controlled the inside and shot 49 percent in
the half, including 7-of-16 from 3-point range. They would finish
14-of-30 from long range for the game.
"They surprised us with the number of 3-pointers they made,"
Anderson said. "We thought we could play a zone and maybe they
would miss some of them. A lot of them were kind of uncontested."
Meanwhile, a swarming Memphis defense held Jackson State to 23
percent shooting in the half. Jackson State seemed out of sync the
entire game, barely getting off shots as Memphis recorded six
blocks in the first half.
Despite the 27-point victory, Calipari noted a flaw in his
team's performance. He said while they controlled the game, they
allowed Jackson State to score more easily after halftime.
"The teams that really, truly want to do something unique and
special, they dominate," Calipari said. "We come out and kind of
bum-rush you, and then we just settle down and play. That's not how
you do anything. A team that dominates, dominates."