No. 11 Memphis defeats Nicholls State 98-59Memphis forward Austin Nichols (4) cheers after scoring against Nicholls in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Austin Nichols scored 20 points to lead five Memphis players in double figures and the No. 11 Tigers defeated Nicholls State 98-59 Saturday night.
Nichols, a freshman forward, connected on 9 of 15 shots to help Memphis (2-1) rebound from a 101-80 loss to No. 7 Oklahoma State on Tuesday. Joe Jackson added 18 points, including going 14 of 15 from the free throw line. Michael Dixon Jr. had 16 points, while Nick King had 12 points despite going 3 of 12 from the line. Chris Crawford added 11 points.
Jeremy Smith had 16 points, the only Colonel to reach double figures. Nicholls State (0-4) was closing out a four-game road trip to open its season.
Nicholls State had 18 turnovers and shot 36 percent.
Memphis made 53 percent of its shots from the field.
The Tigers' loss at Oklahoma State on Tuesday was one of their most disappointing performances in coach Josh Pastner's tenure.
Any residual embarrassment left from the Oklahoma State game wasn't evident Saturday. Memphis came out aggressive on both ends of the floor, pounded the ball inside and relied on their pressure defense throughout the game.
Memphis dominated the first half, forcing 12 turnovers with its aggressive press. The Colonels' miscues negated their 56 percent shooting midway through the half.
Nichols and Jackson had 13 points apiece to lead the Tigers at the break, with Jackson hitting all 11 of his free throws in the half to help Memphis carry a 51-29 lead into the break.
Nichols benefited from the Tigers pushing the ball inside from the start. The freshman forward connected on 6 of 11 shots in the half.
Amin Torres led the Colonels at the half with seven points.
Nicholls State hit nine of its first 16 shots, but closed the half missing two of its next 11 attempts.
Memphis closed the half on a 20-7 run, shooting 50 percent before the break.
Memphis added to its lead in the second half. At one point near the 13-minute mark, the Tigers converted a trio of consecutive 3-pointers, including a pair from Dixon, that pushed the lead to 29 points. Nichols then scored five straight points and Memphis was up 71-37.