Jan 23 2014

Goodwin had 20 points, while Joe Jackson added 18 points and seven assists for Memphis. The Tigers (14-4, 4-2) never trailed and led by 17 in the first half of their fourth win in five games. Memphis lost its previous two conference home games, to Cincinnati and Connecticut.

Memphis has not dropped its first three home games in conference play since the 1969-70 season in the Missouri Valley Conference.

“It was about energy. We’ve got to have energy,” Tigers coach Josh Pastner said. “We are a very good basketball team when we play with great energy.”

Memphis had 15 turnovers but overcame them with 59 percent shooting. The Tigers held a 48-36 advantage in the paint and outrebounded Houston 33-28.

Memphis dominated the first half — particularly inside — and shot 61 percent before the break. That helped the Tigers open a 17-point advantage before taking a 47-32 lead into halftime.

Goodwin, who scored 16 in the half, was free inside on numerous occasions, leading to a handful of dunks. Michael Dixon complemented Goodwin’s inside game by missing only one of his five shots in the opening 20 minutes. He connected on both 3-pointers and scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half.

“It was kind of matador. We got out of the way,” Dickey said of his team’s early defense on Goodwin. “I thought Shaq did a good job of establishing himself early. We made some bad rotations. We had some switches where they took great advantage of it.”