Williams scores 29, Memphis downs Wichita State 88-78

Memphis Tigers
Memphis Tigers Photo credit Imagn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — DeAndre Williams’ 29 points helped Memphis defeat Wichita State 88-78 on Thursday night.

Williams added 15 rebounds and three steals for the Tigers (14-5, 4-2 American Athletic Conference). Kendric Davis scored 20 points while shooting 6 for 10 (4 for 5 from 3-point range) and 4 of 4 from the free throw line, and added five assists. Keonte Kennedy shot 6 for 10, including 4 for 6 from beyond the arc to finish with 16 points.

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James Rojas led the Shockers (9-9, 2-4) in scoring, finishing with 19 points. Wichita State also got 15 points from Jaykwon Walton. Craig Porter Jr. also had 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks.

Memphis took the lead with 4:18 to go in the first half and did not give it up. The score was 36-30 at halftime, with Davis racking up 11 points. Memphis used an 8-0 run in the second half to build a 13-point lead at 50-37 with 14:18 left.

NEXT UP

Both teams next play Sunday. Memphis visits Cincinnati and Wichita State visits SMU.

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Williams Posts Monster Game, Tigers Put Shockers Away

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Tigers defeated Wichita State, 88-78, Thursday night inside FedExForum behind monster games from DeAndre Williams and Kendric Davis.

Memphis (14-5, 4-2 American Athletic Conference) extended its home winning streak to 15 games and have now won 18 of its last 19 league games inside the Forum.

Fifth-year forward DeAndre Williams led the charge for the Tigers, scoring a season high 29 points on an efficient 9-of-13 shooting to go along with a career high-tying 15 rebounds.

Fifth-year guard Kendric Davis added 20 pointsfive assists and two rebounds, marking the second-consecutive game that Williams and Davis each tallied 20-plus points.

Senior Keonte Kennedy had his best night as a Tigers, producing 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from long range.

Trailing 22-15 with 7:05 left in the first half, the Tigers’ offense finally got rolling. Chandler Lawson and Williams finished off back-to-back possessions with a steal on one end and a bucket on the other before Elijah McCadden and Davis each knocked down a three to help put Memphis back in front 29-23 behind a 14-1 run.

In the final minute of the half, Johnathan Williams connected on the sixth triple of the night for the Tigers to send them into the halftime break with a 36-30 lead.

Memphis shot 46 percent in the opening 20 minutes (12-26), including 43 percent from long distance (6-14). Davis scored 11 points in the half, while Williams nearly grabbed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.

The Tigers never trailed in the second half after shooting 60.0 percent after the break (18-30) en route to the victory.

Memphis finished the contest shooting 53.6 percent from the floor (30-56), 52.4 percent from distance (11-21) and 73.9 percent from the free throw line (17-23).
 
The Tigers led by as many as 15 points Thursday night.
 
Wichita State 9-9 (2-4 AAC) was led by James Rojas’ 19 points.

UP NEXT
The Tigers go back on the road Sunday for a noon tip at Cincinnati on ESPN2 before coming back home next Thursday for a 6 p.m. blackout against SMU.

Memphis will continue its 1972-73 national runners-up celebration with bobblehead handouts of Billy Buford against the Mustangs.

POSTGAME NOTES

Memphis used the starting lineup of Kendric Davis, DeAndre Williams, Keonte Kennedy, Elijah McCadden and Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu for the second-straight game.Memphis has used five different starting lineups in the 19 games this season.Memphis has won five-straight games against the Shockers and seven of the last eight matchups overall.The Tigers are on top in the all-time series, 17-12, and lead 12-3 at home.Memphis’ average margin of victory in the five-game winning streak is 16.0.Head coach Penny Hardaway is 7-1 against Wichita State in his head coaching career.The Tigers ended the game shooting 53.6 percent from the field, their fifth-best mark in a game this season.The Tigers are 7-1 in games this season when shooting 50-plus percent.The Tigers made a season-high 11 three-pointers in the win.It’s the most since draining 13 against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 9, 2021.Memphis won the battle on the boards (33-27) for just the second time in its last nine outings.DeAndre Williams recorded his 15th-straight game of double-digit scoring.The senior had his fifth 20-point game of the year and the 15th of his career.He also snatched his fifth double-double of the season and his sixth game of double-digit rebounds.Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu blocked five of the team’s seven stuffs. It’s his third game this season with five or more blocks.Kendric Davis moved into fourth all-time on the AAC’s career scoring list with 1,727 points. He is eight points from third place.He scored his 12th game of 20+ points this season and the 43rd of his career.Head coach Penny Hardaway won his 98th career game as a head coach.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Imagn