(8) Gonzaga 72

(9-3, 3-2 away)

(4) Memphis 83

(10-1, 6-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, December 27, 2005

FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

1 2 T
#8GONZ 40 3272
#4MEM 35 4883

Top Performers

Gonzaga: A. Morrison 34 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast

Memphis: D. Washington Jr. 22 Pts, 2 Reb, 10 Ast

Washington's big game helps Tigers tackle Zags

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Adam Morrison impressed the fourth-ranked Memphis Tigers with his ability to score.

That didn't stop them from shutting him down when it mattered most.

Darius Washington scored 22 points and had 10 assists, and the Tigers held the nation's leading scorer without a point in the final 9:31 in holding off No. 8 Gonzaga 83-72 on Tuesday night.

Memphis coach John Calipari said Morrison knew he could score with Tigers senior forward Rodney Carney guarding him in the post. So he asked freshman Shawne Williams to guard Morrison despite having three fouls.

"I said, `Look man, if we don't stop him right now, we are not winning this game because he will go nuts,' and Shawne Williams went in and stopped him," Calipari said.

Williams also had help from Chris Douglas-Roberts, Robert Dozier and Antonio Anderson in slowing down Morrison. It worked because the preseason All-American didn't score again after his basket put Gonzaga up 62-59 with 9:31 left.

Morrison said the Tigers collapsed on him and denied him good looks at the basket. He also had his left thumb wrapped with tape that wound around his wrist after jamming his finger in last week's victory over Saint Louis, but he refused to use that as an excuse.

"I missed too many 8-footers in the lane, but part of it was Memphis' defense," Morrison said.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few said reporters focus too much on Morrison.

"He plays great all the time. He's got guys draped all over him, and he still passes and shares the ball. We had opportunities. We had point-blank post-ups we missed and wide open jump shots that we missed," he said.

With the victory, Memphis (10-1) continued its best start since 1985-86, winning its seventh straight in the first game between a pair of Top 10 teams involving the Tigers in Memphis since 1985-86.

The Tigers are the only ranked team in the revamped Conference USA, a distinction Gonzaga (9-3) holds in the West Coast Conference. Memphis will host No. 15 Texas on Monday.

Memphis snapped Gonzaga's five-game winning streak even though Morrison finished with 34 points, including a perfect 12-of-12 at the free throw line. It was the Bulldogs' worst loss since Nov. 27, 2004, when they lost 89-72 at Illinois.

Rodney Carney had 17 points for Memphis and Shawne Williams added 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Tigers outshot Gonzaga 31-of-63 (49.2 percent) to 22-of-64 (34.4 percent).

"They've got a lot of answers, a lot of athleticism, a lot of skill and they can hurt you in so many ways," Few said of the Tigers. "We battled hard. We just didn't quite battle for a full 40."

Memphis, feeding off the emotion from a crowd of 18,208, took the lead with an 8-2 run that was capped on Chris Douglas-Roberts' three-point play with 7:25 left. It gave Memphis a 63-62 advantage, the Tigers first since 1:10 was left in the first half.

Gonzaga last led 67-66 on a bucket inside by J.P. Batista with 5:13 to go. He was the only other Bulldog in double figures, finishing with 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Tigers outscored Gonzaga 17-5 down the stretch with Washington scoring nine of the final 12 points in the last 3:18. Washington had missed the last game with a deep thigh bruise that has bothered him for weeks.

The Tigers opened up sprinting up and down the court, and Gonzaga was more than willing to keep pace in a physical game.

Gonzaga missed its first seven shots, while the Tigers seemingly couldn't miss despite not having played in a week. But Gonzaga led 40-35 at halftime as the Bulldogs hit 14-of-17 at the free throw line, compared to 0-of-2 for Memphis.

The Tigers jumped out to a 13-5 lead after a pair of buckets from Washington and harassed Gonzaga into missing its first seven shots. Morrison sunk a pair of free throws, but the Bulldogs didn't score from the floor until Derek Raivio hit a 3-pointer with 15:35 to go.

Morrison scored his first bucket on a hook shot, starting a 6-0 spurt that got the Bulldogs going.

"That was a heck of a game," Calipari said. "I told their coach, `Let's hope we are playing in April. Let's hope we are the last two standing."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 72 83
FG Made-Attempted 22-64 (.344) 31-63 (.492)
3P Made-Attempted 7-17 (.412) 8-25 (.320)
FT Made-Attempted 21-26 (.808) 13-25 (.520)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
Largest Lead 6 13

2005-06 Season

» Dec 27, 2005 @MEM 83, GONZ 72Recap