SMU 53

(7-7, 0-2 C-USA)

(5) Memphis 73

(15-2, 2-0 C-USA)

    8:00 PM ET, January 14, 2006

    FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

    1 2 T
    SMU 22 3153
    #5MEM 33 4073

    Top Performers

    SMU: B. Hopkins 19 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Memphis: J. Dorsey 13 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Memphis opens early lead, cruises to win against SMU

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)-- Memphis coach John Calipari is working hard to keep his team focused no matter what the score.

    Joey Dorsey scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds and the fifth-ranked Tigers got off to a strong start in a 73-53 win over SMU on Saturday night. Memphis opened the game with an 18-2 run and never let the advantage get under 10 the rest of the way.

    "It's very hard," said Rodney Carney, who led the Tigers with 15 points. "You see the score and you want to slack up. But you can't because Cal is on the sideline getting after you. He wants the intensity up at all times. I can see why, but it's pretty hard to stay focused."

    Memphis (15-2, 2-0 Conference USA) won its fourth straight since losing to Texas (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today; No. 8 AP) 69-58 on Jan. 2.

    Carney connected on 6-of-9 from the field, and Memphis shot 51 percent. Dorsey hit five of seven shots, and Darius Washington added 13 points and four assists.

    Despite the shooting performance and handing the Mustangs (7-7, 0-2) their worst loss of the season, Calipari wasn't overly excited with his team's intensity.

    "The first half we missed 14 two-footers," Calipari said. "At some point, we've got to make those shots. In the second half we made them, but you've got to make the ones that are near the basket. You can't miss them all."

    Bryan Hopkins went 7-of-12 from the field and finished with 19 points for the Mustangs, who shot 37 percent and committed 15 turnovers.

    "Other kids were taking shots, they were just not making them," SMU coach Jimmy Tubbs said.

    After SMU scored the game's first basket, Memphis reeled off 18 straight points. During the run, the Mustangs missed 10 straight shots and went almost nine minutes without scoring. SMU, which lost its third straight, also had six early turnovers.

    "I thought we were a little bit jittery the first five or six minutes, but Memphis had a lot to do with that," Tubbs said. "Once we settled down, we did OK."

    The Mustangs whittled the Tigers lead to 10 with six minutes left in the half, but Memphis carried a 33-22 lead into the break.

    Hopkins led SMU with 10 points in the first half.

    The Mustangs tried to battle back in the second half but they couldn't whittle the lead down to single digits. Washington connected on a 3-pointer with about 8 minutes left to give the Tigers a 54-37 lead.

    The margin could be indicative of many games the rest of the season for Memphis. The Tigers are considered C-USA's best team. After playing ranked teams such as top-ranked Duke, Texas, Gonzaga and UCLA earlier this season, even the Tigers realize they may have to ignore the score to maintain the intensity.

    "It's hard to block out the scoreboard," Memphis guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said, "but that's what we've got to do. We have to play like it's tied up even if we're up 30.

    "... Sometimes we started paying attention to how much we were up, and then we started playing that way instead of just keep playing as if it is tied up or is a real competitive team."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 53 73
    FG Made-Attempted 21-57 (.368) 28-55 (.509)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-17 (.412) 8-16 (.500)
    FT Made-Attempted 4-9 (.444) 9-18 (.500)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 23

    2005-06 Season

    » Jan 14, 2006 @MEM 73, SMU 53Recap