8:30 PM ET, November 11, 2004
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis didn't let its season get off to a slow start.The Tigers (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) built an early lead, continued to put on the pressure and coasted to a 102-40 victory over Savannah State on Thursday night in the opening round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic."Overall, it was a pretty good effort," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "I loved the way we swung the ball and moved the ball. We rebounded offensively."Rodney Carney scored 21 points and Memphis had six players finish in double figures. Carney was 7-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, for the Tigers, who will play George Mason in the second round on Saturday night. The Patriots (1-0) beat Ind.-Pur.-Fort Wayne 69-51 Thursday night.Anthony Rice scored 17 points for Memphis, while Sean Banks finished with 15 and Jeremy Hunt added 14. Freshman forward Joey Dorsey finished with 10 points and 16 rebounds, while freshman point guard Darius Washington had 10 points and eight assists."We're deep enough now so that if anybody doesn't bring it defensively, I'm taking them out," Calipari said. "The best friend I have is that bench."Josh Barker led Savannah State (0-1) with 12 points, while Donald Carson added 10.Savannah State coach Edward L. Daniels Jr. said his young team includes six freshmen "who thought they knew what this was about and really didn't." The reality that they were in for a long night hit early, and his players were drained by the end."I think the latter part of the game we didn't cover the floor like we should have," Daniels said. "I think our guys kind of looked up at the score and threw in the towel a little early."Memphis steadily built the lead through the first half, leading by as many as 34 points before taking a 55-22 halftime lead.The advantage was built around solid shooting, particularly from 3-point range, control of the boards and a defense that limited Savannah State to 29 percent shooting and 11 turnovers in the first half."It probably looked worse from our end," Daniels said. "I knew (Memphis) had a lot of guys that could shoot the basketball, but I didn't know all of them could shoot it that well."The turnovers and a 28-17 advantage on the boards let Memphis get its fast break going. And to complement that, Memphis shot 7-of-13 from 3-point range.Memphis forced 22 turnovers in the game and controlled the boards 58-36. Savannah State managed just 18 points in the second half on 21 percent shooting.Calipari said Dorsey's rebounds were the result of learning the game and taking workouts more seriously, even pre-game shootarounds."Sixteen rebounds is a pretty big number for a freshman," Calipari said, "and the biggest thing was he got rebounds that we haven't (been getting), and it was good to see that."
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