(3) Memphis 84

(20-2, 6-0 C-USA)

Tulsa 61

(7-12, 2-4 C-USA)

    8:05 PM ET, February 1, 2006

    Reynolds Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma

    1 2 T
    #3MEM 43 4184
    TLSA 34 2761

    Top Performers

    Memphis: D. Washington Jr. 22 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 4 Stl

    Tulsa: B. McDade 18 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Memphis jumps out to early lead, cruises against Tulsa

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Memphis coach John Calipari thinks Rodney Carney should be mentioned right with Duke's J.J. Redick and Gonzaga's Adam Morrison as the best players in college basketball.

    For a two-minute stretch Wednesday night against Tulsa, the Tigers' top scorer showed off an entirely different skill set than the two player of the year candidates.

    Carney, a 6-foot-7 senior, scored 12 of his 19 points during an impressive first-half run and Darius Washington Jr. added 22 points as third-ranked Memphis streaked to an 84-61 win.

    "I know J.J. Redick is good and I know Morrison is good, but you've got to have him in the same breath," Calipari said. "Neither one of those two are athletic like him. He shoots the ball the same as they do. His numbers are the same for his career."

    Carney scored 12 straight Memphis points -- including three dunks -- during a 19-2 run that put the Tigers (20-2, 6-0 Conference USA) on their way to their ninth straight win.

    Memphis extended its lead with a 9-0 run early in the second half that included a Carney three-point play. Shawne Williams hit two free throws to give the Tigers a 60-41 lead, and Tulsa (7-12, 2-4) never threatened again.

    Washington sparked the first-half run with a fast-break layup to give Memphis a 19-18 lead and Andre Allen followed with a layup of his own off a back cut.

    Then Carney took over. He scored in the lane and hit a 3-pointer from the left wing before setting off on a one-man slam dunk contest.

    Allen set up two of the dunks by stealing inbounds passes and lobbing the ball. Carney took the first one out of mid-air and slammed it down with two hands. On the second, Allen used the backboard to for a little extra flair.

    "That's what I do for the team. I make fast-break dunks, highlight dunks, block shots. I use my energy for the team and they feed off it," said Carney, who's averaging 18.2 points. "As soon as I did that, we went on a little run."

    Carney then took matters into his own hands, stealing the ball at midcourt before skying to power the ball home with his right hand. Washington followed with a 3-pointer from the left side to put the Tigers ahead 36-20.

    Carney also was fouled on another dunk try in the stretch and the ball slipped out of his hands on his way to the rim on yet another attempt later in the half.

    "I'm athletic. I can shoot 3s, but still I'm athletic," Carney said. "I've got to go get rebounds, I've got to go dunk. They don't have to. They shoot. We're all three different players."

    The steals were three of 19 first-half turnovers forced by Memphis, allowing the Tigers to lead 43-34 at halftime despite allowing Tulsa to shoot 59 percent.

    "I didn't see a guy taking them off the dribble and popping off the floor shooting it from 3. I saw turnovers and flying to the hoop," Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik said of Carney. "I give him credit. I've said this before. He's not a good athlete, he's not a great athlete, he's a world-class athlete.

    "With the way he shoots the basketball and the range he has on his shot, he is an NBA prospect. It was impressive. I wasn't impressed because my guys were turning it over."

    Brett McDade scored 18 and Anthony Price had 15 off the bench for Tulsa, which has lost three in a row.

    Hosting the highest-ranked opponent ever to play in the seven-year-old Reynolds Center, Tulsa responded to an early seven-point deficit with a 14-2 run capped when McDade stole the ball and set up Darold Crow for a fast-break layup giving the Golden Hurricane a 16-11 edge.

    But Memphis pushed back ahead by holding the Golden Hurricane without a field goal for more than 6 minutes while Carney took to the air.

    Calipari admitted that Carney is not as good as Redick and Morrison with the ball, but noted that Carney excels when he's playing aggressive defense and pointed out that he shut out Redick in the second half of Duke's 70-67 win against Memphis on Nov. 25.

    "At the end of the day, let's see where he gets picked in the draft. Let's see where he gets picked," Calipari said. "I think he'll be picked very high ... He sells a lot of tennis shoes and he'll sell a lot of tickets."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 84 61
    FG Made-Attempted 29-59 (.492) 20-43 (.465)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-16 (.313) 2-10 (.200)
    FT Made-Attempted 21-35 (.600) 19-26 (.731)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 28 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 25 5

    2005-06 Season

    » Feb 1, 2006 MEM 84, @TLSA 61Recap
    Feb 25, 2006 @MEM 78, TLSA 67Recap