By David Brandt/The Associated Press
TUPELO — Wesley Witherspoon scored 20 points to lead No. 19 Memphis to a 70-61 victory over LSU on Sunday.
Witherspoon, one of the few veterans for the young Tigers, made 6 of 8 shots from the field, including both 3-pointers he attempted. He was also 6 of 7 from the free-throw line and also added seven rebounds.
The game was played in front of an announced crowd of 7,941 at BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo. It was a basketball crowd record for the BCS Arena.
Memphis (4-0) overcame 16 turnovers, including 11 in the first half. Memphis had a size advantage almost the entire the game, but couldn’t take advantage until the final minutes, closing on a 13-4 run in the final four minutes.
Freshmen Chris Crawford and Joe Jackson both scored 12 points. Crawford nailed a crucial 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining that helped secure the victory. Another freshman, forward Tarik Black, added nine points and nine rebounds.
LSU (2-2) managed a 34-33 halftime lead despite two of its best players — Storm Warren and Malcolm White — sitting on the bench the majority of the first half in foul trouble. Garrett Green and Eddie Ludwig filled in admirably, scoring eight points each in the first half.
But the foul trouble continued in the second half, with Warren, White and Green all fouling out. Andre Stringer led LSU with 13 points, making 8 of 11 from the free-throw line, while Aaron Dotson added 12 and Ralston Turned scored 11.
The Tigers shot just 34.6 percent from the field (18 of 52), including only 25 percent (6 of 24) in the second half.
The game was tightly called for both sides, with each team whistled for 27 fouls and the teams shooting a combined 57 free throws.
Read more in Monday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.