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12/13/2013 11:56 PM EST
Goodwin helps No. 16 Memphis beat UALR 73-59
MEMPHIS 73, UALR 59

By CLAY BAILEY
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis coach Josh Pastner was
disappointed with how his team played against Arkansas-Little
Rock on Friday night.

Fortunately for Pastner and the Tigers, they found a way to win
anyway.

Shaq Goodwin scored 17 points and No. 16 Memphis rallied for a
73-59 victory over the Trojans.

Joe Jackson also had 17 points for the Tigers, but was 3 for 11
from the field. Memphis (7-1) was tied with Arkansas-Little Rock
with under 7 minutes to go, but the Trojans faded down the
stretch.

"They kicked our butt that first half, really probably the first
30 minutes or so," Pastner said.

Josh Hagins led Arkansas-Little Rock (3-6) with 17 points,
connecting on 6 of 11 shots. Will Neighbour scored 10 of his 15
points in the first half, helping the Trojans build a
double-digit lead.

"I thought our guys moved the basketball well in the first
half," Arkansas-Little Rock coach Steve Shields said. "I thought
we were aggressive versus their pressure. We weren't passive. We
hit some cutters versus the press.

"I thought we got away from that a little bit in the second
half, and we got a little bit tentative. Memphis will force you
to do that."

Geron Johnson scored 13 points for Memphis, which shot 52
percent in the second half of its sixth consecutive victory.
Goodwin also had nine rebounds.

The Tigers outrebounded the Trojans 41-32 and scored 28 points
off 17 Arkansas-Little Rock turnovers.

But Pastner was so frustrated by his team's lack of focus that
he didn't make any players available postgame. He doesn't have a
lot of time to get the Tigers back on track; they play No. 19
Florida in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday.

Pastner mentioned players were dealing with finals this week.

"All I talked about was Little Rock and understanding you can't
sleepwalk," Pastner said. "You have to be so ready to go. You
can't give this team any hope.

"Our guys came out, and I don't know what it was. They thought
they could go away from the system that has been working for
us."

Arkansas-Little Rock played with more passion in the first half,
and Memphis struggled on offense for much of the first part of
the game. The Tigers missed 12 of their first 14 shots and were
still at 20 percent shooting with 5 minutes remaining before the
break.

"We wanted to be aggressive," Shields said. "We wanted to be
sound, but aggressive defensively. We felt like we had to switch
it on them some, and go some zone and switch it back to man. We
were fortunate they missed some shots early as well."

The Trojans led by as many as 12, but Johnson helped Memphis put
together a 16-4 run that tied at 21. Johnson had 10 points in
the first half.

Hagins and Kemy Osse scored five points apiece down the stretch,
helping the Trojans to a 31-24 lead at the break.

Memphis shot 28 percent from the field in the first half, but
turned it around after halftime. Chris Crawford made a 3-pointer
to give the Tigers their first lead at 42-41, then hit another
one from long range.

It was back and forth for a while from there, before Memphis
grabbed control with a 12-1 spree. David Pellom got it started
with two baskets, and Jackson closed it out with five straight
points.

The run gave Memphis a 58-49 lead with 4 minutes left, and the
Trojans never threatened again.

Pastner was particularly critical of his four senior guards -
Jackson, Johnson, Crawford and Michael Dixon - saying they
didn't show leadership in getting the team to play hard.

"When they don't play well, our team is not going to be as
good," Pastner said. "We need those guys to be really good every
single time on the floor. We're counting on those guys to be
elite - not individually, but collectively."

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