Tigers win one and all is well … or at least better

So a trip to the Bahamas was miserable and a Thursday in Memphis playing lowly UT Martin was paradise.

Hard to believe but true after the Tigers won, 93-65, improved to 4-2, and finally got to breathe a sigh of relief. Not that anyone has yet forgotten the disappointing losses to VCU and Minnesota — or even the difficult win over Northern Iowa — but Thursday’s victory did provide a respite.

Freshman Shaq Goodwin was fantastic, scoring 17 points with 12 boards, 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. Combo guard Joe Jackson — this has to be the new way to refer to him — handed out 8 assists while scoring 13 with two steals and a block and just 1 turnover.

“In college basketball, the two (guard position) is basically the one,” Jackson said, explaining that he’s not worrying about position anymore. “I’m a basketball player.”

A simple and effective solution, that. At least for a night. Coach Josh Pastner clearly still felt stung by the week’s criticism from fans and media and in the post-game presser spent much time talking about the ills of negativity. He even invited media members to call his voice mail where they could hear a positive message and lift their cynical spirits.

What any of this means going forward is anyone’s guess, of course. The Tigers seem to see the college basketball season and an amusement park as one in the same — there’s always time for another ride on the roller coaster. Ohio, a Sweet 16 team last season, comes calling next Wednesday. It is a good team, much closer to VCU than UT Martin.

Beat Ohio and hope returns with the Dec. 15 game against Louisville just around the corner. Lose to Ohio and … wait, wait, I’m not going there. Because believe or not, I’d like to enjoy this respite, too.

AutoZone preparing for St. Jude marathon weekend

As part of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend presented by Juice Plus, more than 18,000 runners and walkers from five races will finish at AutoZone Park for the 11th straight year.

The marathon on Sat., Dec. 1, benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Gates will open at 6:30 a.m. at AutoZone Park. The Memphis Grizzlies House 5K race begins at 7:15 a.m., followed by the Half, Full, and Relay Marathons starting at 8:00 a.m.

The one-mile Family Fun Run will culminate the day of races. It takes place at 1:30 p.m.

Ten Memphis Redbirds employees are running in the races this year. The Rockey the Redbird mascot also will be in attendance, and runners will be able to see the new 35-foot holiday tree currently on display in Rockeyfeller Center at AutoZone Park Plaza.

Federal Reserve report shows moderately improving local economy

The economy of the regional Federal Reserve district that includes Memphis has “continued to expand at a moderate pace” according to the latest Beige Book report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Some findings, per the report:

According to the Beige Book, the Fed’s Eighth District saw retail and auto sales in October and early November increase over year-earlier levels. The report also noted planned positive activity from area manufacturing firms and improving residential real estate market conditions.

On the flip side, commercial and industrial real estate conditions were mixed and lending activity at a sample of large district banks indicated little change during the third quarter. Prices, wages, and employment levels all were noted as generally stable.

Evolve Bank sponsors Memphis women’s basketball team

Memphis-based Evolve Bank & Trust has announced it’s a new sponsor of the University of Memphis women’s basketball team, committing to a three-year sponsorship.

Coach Melissa McFerrin said the bank is contributing funds that will help grow the program and help it be a major competitor in the new Big East Conference.

Evolve Bank & Trust currently operates five full service branches in Arkansas and Tennessee and more than 30 mortgage production offices across the country.

Church Health Center Christmas card celebrates 25 years

The Church Health Center’s Christmas card this year celebrates the organization’s 25 years of service and features a watercolor of the original clinic.

The annual card drive is one of the largest fundraisers for the center. The painting on this year’s card symbolizes the humble beginnings of the center, which grew to eventually fill 11 different buildings.

Church Health Center Christmas cards can be sent in honor or memory of loved ones, friends, clients or co-workers. Those honored will receive a personalized, hand-inscribed card acknowledging the gift.

For more information, click here.

Dansette

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