Men's College Basketball
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No. 10 Memphis beats Belmont in opener

Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Will Barton scored 23 points and No. 10 Memphis earned a 97-81 victory over Belmont on Tuesday.

Wesley Witherspoon made all 11 shots he took from the floor on the way to 22 points, while Joe Jackson added 20 with seven assists for the Tigers (1-0).

"That was an excellent team in Belmont that we just beat," Memphis head coach Josh Pastner said. "I'm really, really proud of our guys. I thought we had a really good effort for 40 minutes."

J.J. Mann led the Bruins (0-2) with 18 points and Ian Clark dropped in 16 in the loss.

After Belmont took an early 4-3 lead, Memphis erupted for a 13-0 run to jump out to a 12-point lead 5 1/2 minutes into the game.

The Bruins battled back with an 8-0 run to get within four halfway through the first half and trailed by two points four different times before the break. But each time Memphis held them off, taking a 46-39 lead into halftime.

Mann opened the second half with a three-pointer to bring the Bruins within four before Memphis scored the next seven points to extend its lead to 11.

The lead reached as high as 18 points at 70-52 with 12:18 left before Belmont battled back, picking up its offense as Memphis suddenly began to struggle.

Mann's three-pointer started a 10-0 burst that saw four missed shots by Memphis, as Belmont cut its deficit to 73-66.

But the Bruins could not re-create Friday's performance, when they overcame a 16-point deficit before dropping a 77-76 decision to Duke, and Memphis pulled away for the win.

"I thought we did a lot of things poorly in terms of knowing what we were supposed to do," Belmont head coach Rick Byrd said. "That lack of execution had a lot to do with being down seven to where we ended up."

Game Notes

Witherspoon went 3-for-3 on three-point attempts...Adonis Thomas added 12 points off the bench for Memphis...Kerron Johnson scored 13 points with eight rebounds and six assists for Belmont...The Tigers made 58.6 percent of their shots from the floor, while the Bruins were held to just 38.8 percent shooting.

11/15 16:08:28 ET