MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Wesley Witherspoon's MRI gave him confidence. His confidence helped No. 21 Memphis get its season back on track.
Three weeks removed from having surgery on his right knee, Witherspoon scored a season-high 28 points and had a career-best 14 rebounds, sending No. 21 Memphis over Lipscomb 88-70 on Thursday night.
Witherspoon made 10 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. The Tigers (10-2) pulled away while hitting 12 of their first 13 shots in the second half.
"The MRI during the week gave me peace of mind," Witherspoon said. "Even after the Georgetown game, I was still thinking about it. I had just psyched myself out. You can't play if your mind isn't in the game. The mental aspect of it was making it hurt a little bit more than it really was."
Will Barton added 15 for Memphis, Joe Jackson had 13 and Antonio Barton 12.
Adnan Hodzic led the Bisons (7-4) with 22 points — he's scored in double figures for 68 straight games, the longest streak in the nation.
Josh Slater finished with 12 and Brandon Brown had 10.
Coming off an 86-69 loss to Georgetown on Dec. 23, Memphis was accurate throughout the game. The Tigers shot 54 percent from the field, including 11 of 22 from 3-point range.
The Tigers pulled away while hitting 12 of their first 13 shots in the second half. That was a change for Memphis, which has struggled out of the second half gate.
"We just didn't let them control the tempo," Witherspoon said of the difference. "Coming out of halftime, normally, we'll have a mental lapse, and that's what allows teams to get back in the game. We kept our foot on the gas, and the pedal to the metal."
That sharp shooting carried the Tigers to a 42-32 lead at halftime. Witherspoon connected on all four of his long-range shots en route to 19 first-half points.
Lipscomb was within 35-32 when Hodzic connected on a hook shot with two minutes left before the break, but Memphis scored the final seven points of the half.
"We haven't finished halves very well," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. "You turn the ball over two straight times. They hit a three and another bucket, and you're back to fighting a 10-point deficit. That is a big difference in the psyche of players' heads."