MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Lester Quinones had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Precious Achiuwa added 20 points Saturday, sending No. 13 Memphis to a 102-56 romp over Alcorn State.
Top recruit James Wiseman was sidelined because of eligibility issues, but Memphis hardly missed him in bouncing back from its first defeat of the season, an 82-74 loss to Oregon on Tuesday night.
DJ Jeffries finished with 15 points and Tyler Harris and Lance Thomas added 11 each for Memphis (3-1). Isaiah Attles led Alcorn State (1-3) with 13 points while Troymain Crosby had 10.
This was Memphis’ first game without Wiseman, the freshman center who was last season’s top recruit in the country. He was declared ineligible because Memphis coach Penny Hardaway helped with the family’s moving expenses from Nashville to Memphis two years ago when Hardaway was coach at East High School. Wiseman’s status is in limbo while the NCAA considers disciplinary action.
Alcorn State’s zone initially took Memphis out of any flow, the Tigers choosing long passes across the top of the defense and struggling to get the ball inside. That kept the Braves in the game near the midway point of the first half.
The Memphis defense eventually put pressure on the Braves, leading to 16 Alcorn State turnovers in the half. Memphis put together a 24-3 run to close the half and carry a 52-24 lead into the break. The lead would swell to 53 in the second half.
Alcorn State: The Braves did well in staying with Memphis for a while even with the Tigers employing a fullcourt press. But the Memphis defense proved intimidating, and the Braves bega overpassing inside. That led to way too many turnovers _ 26 for the game.
Memphis: Without Wiseman, Memphis relied on Achiuwa inside. While his 20 points and eight rebounds were impressive, he could have done better. Achiuwa was 8 of 20 from the free throw line. It was a downside, but overall wasn’t a factor as Memphis controlled the final 30 minutes of the game.
Alcorn State: At North Carolina State on Tuesday
Memphis: Hosts Arkansas-Little Rock on Wednesday