PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Sophomore guard Darius Washington
emerged as a dominant force in the second half for No. 7 Memphis,
and helped hold off a challenge by Providence.
Rodney Carney and Chris Douglas-Roberts carried the bulk of the
load in the first half for Memphis, and Washington stepped up in
the second half with a combination of free throws, layups and a
three-pointer to finish with 20 points in the Tigers' 97-89 win
over the Friars on Saturday night.Washington scored 15 of his points in the second half, including
a three-pointer that put Memphis (7-1) up 84-75. He shot 7-for-10
from the field, 2-for-3 from 3-point range and 4-for-5 from the
line."I just had the open shots and knocked them down," said
Washington, who entered the game as the team's second-leading
scorer."I thought Darius Washington really played a heady game,"
Memphis coach John Calipari said.Carney shot 4-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half and
finished with 17 points."Rodney in the first half was unbelievable," Calipari said.
"He just made every play."The Tigers' win overshadowed the performance of Providence guard
Donnie McGrath, who scored a career-high 28 points and shot 5-for-9
from long distance. The senior fouled out with less than a minute
to play and received a standing ovation from fans at the Dunkin'
Donuts Center as he walked to the bench.Center Randall Hanke added 18 points for the Friars, and DeSean
White scored all 14 of his points in the first half.Calipari said he doesn't mind high-scoring contests, but he
wants his team to allow fewer points."We have to defend better, that's what we have to do,"
Calipari said. "I have no problem with us playing this way."Despite Memphis' success -- its only loss of the season came
against top-ranked Duke -- Calipari said he was warning his team not
to become bored with winning.Providence drew within three points after a pair of free-throws
by Herbert Hill with less than 6 minutes to play in the second
half. But Memphis went on a six-point run, and the Friars never got
closer."How are teams going to scout us now?" Washington asked. "We
have an inside and outside presence. That's torture."Providence (3-4) lost its fourth straight game, including its
second straight to a ranked team. The Friars lost to Florida 87-77
on Tuesday."They have great athletes and a great program," Providence
coach Tim Welsh said. "I think that's a team that could go to the
Final Four."Douglas-Roberts scored 16 for Memphis, and Joey Dorsey had 11
points and 10 rebounds.