Scores

Final

UAB 66

(14-4, 4-1 C-USA)

(3) Memphis 73

(18-2, 4-0 C-USA)

    8:00 PM ET, January 26, 2006

    FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

    1 2 T
    UAB 31 3566
    #3MEM 36 3773

    Top Performers

    UAB: P. Delaney III 17 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Memphis: J. Dorsey 12 Pts, 16 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    No. 3 Memphis forges past determined UAB squad

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)-- Some of the best defense UAB could muster wasn't good enough against Memphis.

    Darius Washington scored 26 points and Rodney Carney added 19 Thursday night as the No. 3 Tigers overcame the Blazers' defensive pressure in a 73-66 victory.

    "We mixed and matched our defense; some zone, some man," UAB coach Mike Anderson said. "I thought we did defend. They only shot 37 percent, but the thing about them is they are so long and athletic, they would just go get it."

    Memphis (18-2, 4-0) moved into a tie with UTEP for the lead in Conference USA, while the Blazers (14-4, 4-1) fell a half-game back.

    The loss snapped UAB's 10-game winning streak and its run of eight straight regular-season conference wins.

    Washington was 9-of-18 from the field, including 6-of-11 on 3-pointers. Joey Dorsey added 12 points, 16 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards, and four blocks.

    Shawne Williams finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds as Memphis dominated the boards 54-34 -- though the Tigers struggled to capitalize.

    "We were 13-for-36 from 2 feet. I'll give it 2½ feet," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "Whether it was because of a bump, a grab, a hold, we were 13-of-36. That's the thing right now that's holding us back a little bit.

    "We had 25 offensive rebounds. You understand that means you've got the ball 2 feet from the rim. We just missed a ton of them."

    Paul Delaney, who entered the game averaging 7.6 points, scored 17 to lead the Blazers. Marvett McDonald and Wen Mukubu each added 12.

    "[Delaney] could be a starter instantly, but I want him to come in and give us some energy off that bench with his quickness and his athletic ability," Anderson said. "He was the spark. You've got to go to that bench and find somebody. You hope you've got more than one there. Maybe two or three."

    The game lived up to expectations from two of Conference USA's top teams.

    The Blazers were within 65-63 after Squeaky Johnson's 3-pointer with 1:47 left, but Memphis outscored UAB 8-3 down the stretch, including a powerful dunk by Carney to punctuate the Tigers' seventh straight win.

    UAB gave the Tigers a heavy dose of the pressure defense for which it is known. The Blazers deflected passes, switched defenders and kept Memphis off balance through the middle stages of the game. The swatting and pestering allowed the Blazers to erase a double-digit, first-half deficit and eventually lead with just over 13 minutes left.

    "It's kind of hectic," Carney said of the UAB pressure. "You really have to slow down and look for your teammates. You can't be out of control out there. If you are out of control, they are going to strip the ball from you, steal it and take charges."

    Memphis appeared to solve the Blazers' defensive pressure early by going over the top from long range. Carney and Washington connected for 3-pointers while Dorsey controlled the boards as the Tigers eventually built the lead to 13.

    But UAB's pressure began paying dividends in the final seven minutes of the first half. Memphis appeared confused and out of sync. The pressure and traps resulted in lazy passes and standing around by the Tigers.

    "It's one of those things. We get them down 13, and it's, 'Let's go. Let's go," Calipari said. "We go the wrong way. We kind of back up and go half speed."

    The Blazers closed the half with a 10-4 run, leaving the Tigers with a 36-31 lead at the break.

    As the second half opened, the Blazers continued the frenzied pace on defense forcing some of Memphis' 19 turnovers. That allowed UAB to stay close, cutting the Tigers' lead to two twice in the first 6 minutes before overtaking Memphis on five straight points from Delaney with 13:07 left.

    While Memphis would eventually regain the lead, UAB stayed within six points until the final minute.

    "When you beat a team on a 10-game win streak, that's a great win," Calipari said. "We had chances to get it to 16, 18, 20 and we're just not capable of it yet."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    UAB
    MEM
    Points 66 73
    FG Made-Attempted 23-61 (.377) 25-68 (.368)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-20 (.250) 10-30 (.333)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-19 (.789) 13-21 (.619)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 3 13

    2005-06 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Jan 26, 2006 @MEM 73, UAB 66Recap
    Mar 2, 2006 @UAB 80, MEM 74Recap
    Mar 11, 2006 @MEM 57, UAB 46Recap