MEMPHIS – The Memphis Tigers used a strong second half to rally and defeat the Pirates of East Carolina, 69-59, Saturday afternoon inside FedExForum.
Memphis (12-4, 2-1) trailed 33-25 at the break but outscored the Pirates 44-26 in the second half, highlighted by a 22-0 run.
Fifth-year forward DeAndre Williams posted 19 points on 8-of-17 from the field to go with four rebounds.
Fifth-year guard Alex Lomax became the fourth Tiger since the 2010-11 season to register seven or more steals in a game and is the first to do so since Damion Baugh swiped seven against New Orleans in 2019. Lomax added seven points and six assists.
Despite having just two points at the break, fifth-year guard Kendric Davis accounted for 14 points, six assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds.
Nine Tigers played at least 13 minutes in the game.
Memphis used a stifling defense in the second half to grab control of the game. The Tigers forced East Carolina into a season-high 22 turnovers and scored 28 points off those miscues.
They held the Pirates (10-7, 1-3 AAC) to 33.3 percent shooting after halftime (9-27), and only allowed 14.3 percent from three-point range (2-14) after ECU hit 7-of-14 from long range in the first 20 minutes.
Memphis torched the nets in the second half, going 17-of-29 for a 58.6-percent clip overall. They finished the night 47.5 percent (28-59) and made 11-of-17 from the free throw line.
East Carolina was led by Brandon Johnson‘s 15 points.
Memphis is back in action next Wednesday, Jan. 11, at UCF. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT on ESPN+. The Tigers then travel to Temple on Sunday, Jan. 15 for a 2 p.m. CT bout on ESPN2 before returning to FedExForum on Thursday, Jan. 16 against Wichita State at 6 p.m.