SAN DIEGO — With the greatest of ease, Memphis State ran away with the Holiday Bowl basketball tournament championship Saturday night.
The 10th-ranked Tigers defeated North Carolina Charlotte, 106-82, in front of 3,548 fans at the Sports Arena.
Memphis State has won its first 11 games of the season, tying a school record. The Tigers will attempt to break the record when they host Kansas next Saturday.
Charlotte (4-5) was simply overmatched by the Tigers. The game was decided by halftime when Memphis State led, 55-33.
William Bedford, a 7-foot center, scored 14 points for Memphis State and was named the tournament's most valuable player.
In Friday's first game of the tournament, Bedford was held to 10 points in a 57-46 win over Fresno State. However, the Bulldogs are noted for their defensive style of play.
Charlotte made the mistake of trying to run with the Tigers, whose players say they have a quicker team than when they finished 31-4 last season and made the NCAA Final Four.
At the outset of Saturday's game, Memphis State gave an indication of things to come. The Tigers won the opening tip, then Andre Turner fed Bedford for a dunk five seconds into the game.
Ray Gromlowicz scored on a tip-in on Charlotte's first possession. However, it was to be the last time the game would be tied.
Memphis State scored the next six points, four by Dwight Boyd. Charlotte rebounded to twice come within four points.
But after the score was 10-6, Memphis State began running away with the game. The Tigers scored the next seven points, taking a 17-6 lead with 14:15 left in the half.
The Tigers increased their lead to 15 points, 31-16, with 10:46 remaining in the half. They eventually built their cushion to 24 points, 47-23, with 4:16 remaining.
Things went so well for Memphis State that all 12 of its players participated in the first half and nine scored. Among the three held scoreless was Turner, whom Coach Dana Kirk considers the top point guard in the country.
Bedford led all scorers in the half with 12 points. Boyd had eight points and a team-leading seven assists in the half, while Kenneth Moody scored eight points off the bench. Charlotte starters Mike Milling and Rodney Abrams each scored eight points in the half.
As expected, Memphis State dominated the game by continually getting the ball inside against the smaller 49ers. By halftime, the Tigers held a 30-9 rebounding edge.
Memphis State shot 63.2% from the field in the half, compared to Charlotte's 38.9%. The 49ers' consolation was that they committed four turnovers, four fewer than Memphis State.
Despite the lopsided score, the game livened with 13 minutes remaining after Bedford committed his fourth foul. Eric Duncan of Charlotte pointed and yelled at Bedford, thus getting a technical foul.
After a timeout, Duncan came on the court and patted Bedford. The game was quiet thereafter.