Emoni Bates scored 17 points and had four rebounds and four assists in his career debut for the host Memphis Tigers in a season-opening 89-65 victory over Tennessee Tech on Tuesday.
Another highly touted freshman, Jalen Duren, supplied 15 points, six rebounds and five blocks for the No. 12 Tigers, who never trailed.
Lester Quinones scored 15 points with seven rebounds, while DeAndre Williams added 12 points and four assists. Landers Nolley II chipped in 10 points and four assists.
Memphis shot 59.3 percent from the field and made half of its 26 3-point attempts. The Tigers also had a 34-28 rebounding advantage and recorded 11 blocks, compared to two by Tennessee Tech.
Mamoudou Diarra led the Golden Eagles with 11 points and Jr. Clay tossed in nine points and dished out eight assists. Tennessee Tech shot 38.7 percent overall and 6-for-22 on 3-point attempts.
Duren and Bates scored 10 points apiece as the Tigers grabbed a 52-41 halftime lead. Memphis shot 62.5 percent from the field, while the Golden Eagles shot 48.3 percent.
Memphis scored the first 13 points of the game, with the Tigers getting four apiece from Williams and Duren in the sprint.
John Pettway’s putback pulled Tennessee Tech closer at 23-17. A couple of Bates 3-pointers in a 27-second span gave Memphis a 40-24 advantage with seven minutes left in the half. Tennessee Tech then scored nine unanswered points, including six by Diante Wood.
Duren’s putback dunk made it 49-33 with less than three minutes remaining in the half. The Golden Eagles finished the half with an 8-3 run.
Memphis scored the first 10 points of the second half with the aid of three Tennessee Tech turnovers. Williams had four points during that run.
Quinones hit a 3-pointer with 12:33 remaining to give the Tigers a 20-point lead at 69-49.
–Field Level Media
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