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Williams scores 19 to lead Memphis past Jackson St

Nov 14, 2009 - 6:03 AM MEMPHIS, Tenn.(AP) -- Josh Pastner got the first one out of the way, and he's already looking forward to a whole bunch more.

Elliot Williams scored 19 points, Will Coleman finished with 16 and Memphis beat Jackson State 82-53 on Friday night in Pastner's debut as head coach

"I'm 799 behind Jim Boeheim," Pastner said with a chuckle, referring to the Syracuse coach who won his 800th game Monday night.

Pastner's first victory was the first step into a new era for Memphis. John Calipari left for the bluer grass of Kentucky at the end of last season, opening the door for the 31-year-old Pastner to assume the reigns of the successful program.

His first win was marked by intense full-court defense, an ability to get out on the break, and some postgame humility.

"This has nothing to do with me," Pastner said. "This is about the players because the players win the games. This isn't me. This will never be me.

"The credit goes to the guys," he added. "They stepped it up, they gutted it out. They found a way and did a nice job defensively."

Garrison Johnson led Jackson State with 16 points, while Grant Maxey finished with 11 points. Memphis limited its opponent to 37 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers.

"That's a pretty good team," Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson said. "They shoot the 3-pointer well, and they are very athletic. They're a very good defensive team."

Coleman, a 6-foot-9 junior transfer from Miami Dade College, added 10 rebounds, and Roburt Sallie had seven.

"The energy was through the roof," Coleman said. "Defense is the key. Defense wins games. Defense does it all. Timeouts, huddles, that's what we kept preaching: defense, defense, defense. Keep the intensity up."

The Tigers went on a 17-1 run to put the game away in the second half.

Jackson State missed 13 of its first 15 shots, but Memphis didn't do much better, allowing Jackson State to keep it close until the Tigers closed the first half with a 21-6 run that left them up 38-21 at the half.

Anderson said the poor shooting spells are part of what he has to accept when his young team faces an established program.

"I'm trying to find out who can play when we get into (the Southwestern Athletic) conference play," Anderson said. "Winning the game was pretty much nil, so we're trying to get better as a basketball team."

Despite the lopsided win in his opener, Pastner said his team has a long way to go before facing top-ranked Kansas on Tuesday in the Hall of Fame Showcase. The Jayhawks' 2008 national championship came when they defeated Memphis 75-68 in overtime.

"There were some positives in the game," Pastner said. "Number one, we held them to 37 percent from the field. I thought defensively, we got after it. But there were some lapses.

"Overall, there are some things we need to get better on. We had 14 turnovers with 14 assists, and that's not good enough."

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    Jackson State 53, Memphis 82  FinalNov 14 7:30 AM


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