Demons advance to C-USA tourney semis

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Khara Smith had 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead DePaul (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) past Memphis 78-55 in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament Friday.

Smith shot 11-of-14 from the floor and had six offensive rebounds for DePaul, which won its 14th straight game. The 6-foot-2 junior also had five of DePaul's 13 steals.

The Blue Demons (25-3) outrebounded Memphis 50-30, with Erin Carney grabbing 15 boards. DePaul will play the winner of Texas Christian-South Florida on Saturday.

Victoria Crawford led Memphis (13-16) with 16 points and eight rebounds. Kaneshi Hart added 12 points for the Tigers on 6-of-7 shooting, but Memphis shot just 34.5 percent overall.

The Tigers beat East Carolina 76-67 on Thursday but were no match for DePaul. The Blue Demons lost only once in conference play en route to the regular-season title.

DePaul scored the first nine points before Memphis cut the lead to 20-19 on a jumper by Crawford with 7:04 left in the first half. A 9-2 run by the Blue Demons put them in command and they pushed the lead to 35-28 at halftime.