MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis coach Josh Pastner let his players know at halftime that their lackluster play was unacceptable.
The No. 22 Tigers got the message.
Following a lethargic first half, Memphis (3-2) outscored Jackson State 45-26 after intermission to pull away.
|More on college basketball|
"If there is any way to describe it, imagine a rant at halftime without cursing," Pastner said of his halftime speech. "There were no curse words, but, yeah, I was upset. It was heated in there, no question."
Jackson added of Pastner: "Man, he said an earful."
Jenirro Bush led Jackson State (1-7) with 11 points, the only visitor to reach double figures.
Memphis was coming off a less-than-impressive performance at the Maui Invitational where they lost to Michigan and in overtime to Georgetown. It dropped the Tigers from No. 8 to No. 22 in this week's poll.
Memphis responded to the drop by struggling in the first half against Jackson State, but opened the second half with 15 consecutive points to break open the game.
The Tigers would lead by as many as 31 in the second half.
"I was feeling pretty good at halftime," Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson said. "But [Memphis] obviously was not feeling good about the first half with the way they came out and played the first five minutes of the second half."
Crawford led the early rally in the second half with a dunk to open the run and then a pair of 3-pointers later in the streak.
"In the second half, we just wanted to come out with a lot of energy," Crawford said of the team's change. "We had no energy in the first half, so we wanted to come with a lot of intensity, pressure the ball and force a lot of turnovers."
Memphis led 25-19 at halftime, but it was not a memorable performance. Memphis had seven turnovers and continued its propensity of losing the battle on the glass as Jackson State held a 22-14 rebounding advantage at the break, eventually winning the battle for the game 36-29, including 18 offensive rebounds for Jackson State.
Pastner has harped on the team's poor rebounding, and kept a carousel moving towards the scorer's table to check in replacing Memphis teammates being outrebounded.
The first half was so low-scoring, neither team had a player in double figures.
Memphis built a 10-point advantage with 3:28 left before halftime by forcing Jackson State turnovers and scoring in transition.
But Memphis let Jackson State chip into the lead in the latter stages of the half, and Willie Readus' rebound basket with two seconds left cut the lead to 25-19.
In addition to causing 11 Jackson State turnovers, Memphis also held the visitors to 26 percent shooting before the break. But that was offset by the Jackson State rebounding edge.
The second half was much different. Memphis continued to force turnovers, Jackson State ending the night with 23 miscues, and Memphis forced poor shooting from the visitors, who shot 31 percent for the game.
"We couldn't stop the momentum in the second half," said Anderson, noting that his team had used all but one of their timeouts before halftime. "We felt like we should have been ahead in the first half, but we missed too many easy shots. We went to the basket, but we didn't finish it well."
Pastner and Memphis players were pleased with the victory, but many realized it was not the type of performance that reflected improvement. Pastner said the best thing he could say is that he knows his team hasn't peaked based on their play against Jackson State.
"They shouldn't feel good after the performance," Pastner said of his team. "We need to be better. This isn't a satisfying performance. We got the win, but no one should be happy in the locker room.
"We have to compete better than this."