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Tigers pounce on ECU for 20th win

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Sophomore guard Will Barton recorded 25 points and nine rebounds and Memphis applied a smothering second half defense as the Tigers mauled Conference USA opponent East Carolina 70-47 Wednesday night at the FedExForum.

The victory, combined with Southern Mississippi's 76-68 double overtime loss Wednesday night at Texas-El Paso, lifted Memphis into sole possession of first place in C-USA with three games left in the regular season.

There were four ties and three lead changes in a first half in which East Carolina led 27-26 with 5:36 left before intermission. That's when a free throw and a dunk by Barton moved Memphis into the lead for good.

The Tigers built the advantage to 37-32 by halftime, then took off on a 10-2 surge to start the second frame. Barton capped off the run with a dunk and a layup and the rout was on.

Memphis held the Pirates to only 15 second-half points on 6-for-27 field goal shooting (22.2 percent).

Sophomore guard Joe Jackson had 13 points and sophomore guard Antonio Barton, brother of Will, added 11 for Memphis, which picked up its 20th win of the season.

Junior guard Miguel Paul scored 20 points, junior guard Shamarr Bowden had 13 and sophomore forward Robert Sampson hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds for East Carolina.

The Pirates (12-14, 3-10 C-USA) committed 26 turnovers, including eight by Paul and six by junior forward Maurice Kemp.

Memphis outscored East Carolina 48-12 in the paint and 25-5 on fastbreaks.

The loss was East Carolina's second to the Tigers (20-8, 10-3) in two weeks. Memphis visited Greenville on Feb. 8 and was able to hold off a second half ECU rally to defeat the Pirates 70-59.

The Pirates will return home to host UAB on Saturday (5 p.m.) before heading into regular season-ending matchups with Marshall (home, Wednesday, Feb. 29) and Tulane (away, Saturday, Mar. 3).

BOX SCORE

MEMPHIS 70, EAST CAROLINA 47

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012
Place: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
Attendance: 15,744
Records: ECU 12-14 (3-10 Conference USA); UM 20-8 (10-3)

SCORE BY PERIODS     1   2  FINAL
East Carolina       32  15  -  47
Memphis             37  33  -  70

EAST CAROLINA PIRATES
 # PLAYER                    FG   3PT    FT  R PTS MIN
.........................  ....  ....  .... .. ... ...
01 Morrow, Darrius..... f   1-8   0-0   2-2  2   4  32
12 Sampson, Robert..... f   1-5   0-1   0-0 10   2  21
00 Paul, Miguel........ g  5-10   3-5   7-9  2  20  34
11 Gaines, Corvonn..... g   1-4   1-2   0-0  4   3  30
20 Bowden, Shamarr..... g   5-9   3-4   0-0  1  13  28
02 Kemp, Maurice.........   1-6   0-1   3-5  5   5  19
03 Torlak, Petar.........   0-1   0-0   0-0  2   0   8
22 Campbell, Paris.......   0-4   0-4   0-0  0   0  19
23 Straughn, Erin........   0-2   0-1   0-0  2   0   9
TEAM.....................                    4
TOTALS................... 14-49  7-18 12-16 32  47 200
PERCENT..................  28.6  38.9  75.0

MEMPHIS TIGERS
 # PLAYER                    FG   3PT    FT  R PTS MIN
.........................  ....  ....  .... .. ... ...
00 Hall, Ferrakohn..... f   0-0   0-0   2-6  2   2  19
10 Black, Tarik........ f   4-8   0-0   1-2  9   9  21
01 Jackson, Joe........ g  5-10   1-2   2-2  5  13  32
02 Barton, Antonio..... g   3-4   1-2   4-6  5  11  31
05 Barton, Will........ g 10-16   0-1   5-7  8  25  35
03 Crawford, Chris.......   0-5   0-2   0-0  1   0  21
11 Witherspoon, Wesley...   2-7   0-2   0-0  1   4  21
14 Tsafack, Hippolyte....   1-1   0-0   0-0  0   2   2
23 Holt, Charles.........   0-1   0-0   0-0  1   0   2
30 Stephens, D.J.........   1-3   0-0   2-2  5   4  14
32 Simpson, Stan.........   0-1   0-1   0-0  0   0   2
TEAM.....................                    1
TOTALS................... 26-56  2-10 16-25 38  70 200
PERCENT..................  46.4  20.0  64.0

Fouled out: None
Technical Fouls: Shamarr Bowden
Officials: Tom O'Neill, Darron George, John Hampton

PAGE UPDATED 02/23/12 05:42 AM.

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