MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Austin Peay coach Dave Loos knew his team had to slow Memphis' pace if the Governors were going to have a chance against the 13th-ranked Tigers.
The wheels came off Loos' plans almost immediately.
"We came unraveled pretty early, and it was over, there's no question about that," Loos said.
The Tigers forced 22 turnovers, had six players score in double figures and Memphis defeated the Governors 95-69 on Thursday night.
Ed Dyson scored 11 points to lead the Governors (1-1) and Zavion Williams and Chris Freeman added 10 each. But Austin Peay failed to get the ball inside and fell victim to a Memphis press that left Loos' team struggling all night.
"We've got to throw it (inside) some," Loos said. "It was all run, shoot and holler from our guards. I know we're faster. I know we're athletic, but you've got to play basketball, and we didn't do that."
Loos' plan to try and slow the Memphis guards was the first thing to go awry, then Austin Peay was undone by a fast-paced Tigers team that pressed the entire game.
"They can score a lot of points on you in a hurry," Loos said. "They just annihilated us on the boards. I was impressed with their rebounding and the way they stayed after it. They keep constant pressure on you. Their press dealt us a fit."
Joe Jackson had 16 points and seven assists as Memphis (1-0) shot 54 percent from the field. Michael Dixon Jr. was 5 of 7 from the field and scored 15 points for Memphis, while Nick King had 13 points and Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson finished with 11 points each.
Memphis outrebounded the Governors 50-27 and Dixon and Crawford had four steals each.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner had promised a more frenetic, pressing pace for the Tigers this season, and opening night lived up to the previews.
"All over the floor, looking like maniacs," said Johnson, who had 10 rebounds and four assists. "That's literally what (the press) does. It causes havoc for the other team. That havoc causes the other team to be undisciplined and make passes they usually wouldn't."
Memphis had its own turnover problems with 21 in its uptempo approach, but it wasn't nearly as damaging as Austin Peay's. Memphis had 27 points off turnovers, compared to 14 for the Governors.
"In the second half, we got loosey-goosey," Pastner said. "I just thought we got unsound. .We've got to cut down on our turnovers. When you press like we press, you're going to have some turnovers, but we can't have as many as we had."
The Tigers, who led 51-29 at halftime, extended the lead through the early stage of the second half, again forcing turnovers and running against the Governors. In the first 4 minutes, Memphis pulled away to a 62-35 lead.
The lead eventually stretched to 33 points as Memphis never relented on the press.