Jan 18 2014

Nick King scored 18 points and No. 17 Memphis defeated the Magicians 101-78 on Saturday, a needed relief for the Tigers (13-4) who had dropped consecutive home games to Cincinnati and Connecticut before the victory.

Meanwhile, LeMoyne-Owen (4-10), a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, lost its third straight and fifth in the last six.

“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. Johnson also had nine rebounds and seven assists. Kuran Iverson scored 11 points, and Shaq Goodwin added 10 for Memphis.

Demba Konate led the Magicians with 17 points, while Daequan Mitchell-Fields finished with 16 points. Marcel Hawkins had 11 and Jerry Hampton scored 10.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner promised to play LeMoyne-Owen to benefit the small school located in South Memphis and had to schedule the game in January to keep his word.

“I was proud of the way we bounced back after the loss to Connecticut,” Pastner said.

LeMoyne-Owen coach William Anderson also 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 got some playing time, so I think it was a win-win for both institutions.”