Tigers headed for Big Apple with win over Tide
Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) – Darius Washington Jr. recorded a game-high
23 points and 12th-ranked Memphis led nearly wire-to-wire in an impressive
87-76 victory over No. 15 Alabama in a Preseason NIT second-round showdown at
Robert Dozier added 11 points and Rodney Carney finished with 10 in the win,
which sends the Tigers (2-0) to New York’s Madison Square Garden for a
semifinal game with 18th-ranked UCLA on Wednesday. The Bruins advanced with a
54-47 decision over Temple.
Justin Jonus scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half while Jermareo
Davidson racked up 17 points and 19 rebounds for the Crimson Tide (1-1), who
have failed to impress in their first two outings of the young season. Alabama
struggled through a 64-58 home win over Miami-Ohio Tuesday in the tournament’s
Memphis took control of the contest early on, using a 13-2 run over a two-
minute span which turned a two-point deficit into a 16-7 lead. Washington
netted five points during the surge and capped it with a feed to Antonio
Anderson for a three-pointer with just over four minutes elapsed.
Carney sunk a triple and followed with a transition layup to extend the
advantage to 25-11 with 12:49 to go in the half. A brief Alabama flurry got
the hosts within eight points before consecutive baskets by Chris Douglas-
Roberts, Washington and Anderson put the Tigers up 35-21 with six minutes
remaining before the break.
The Crimson Tide failed to get the margin under single digits over the
remainder of the period as Memphis continued to attack. A follow-up bucket
from Douglas-Roberts in the closing seconds sent the Tigers into the locker
room with a sizeable 48-32 lead.
Alabama shot just 27.3 percent (9-for-33) over the first 20 minutes.
The Tide would close the gap early in the second half on the strength of Chuck
Davis, who scored six consecutive points. His layup and free throw four
minutes into the period brought the Crimson Tide within 51-40.
With the margin still at 11 five minutes later, the Tigers put together a 9-0
spurt to begin to seemingly pull away. Washington had back-to-back baskets
before dishing off to Anderson for another three-pointer which made it a 20-
point game with 8:27 to go.
Alabama, however, would make a late push. Jonus started an 8-0 run with a
jumper from long range and ended it when he was fouled on a three-point try
and made each attempt. The free throws trimmed Memphis’ advantage to 72-63
heading into the final four minutes.
Washington helped keep Alabama at bay when he drove the lane and scored with
1:16 left to play, putting the Tigers up 77-66. After Jonus misfired a three-
point shot, Joey Dorsey sank 1-of-2 free throws with 58 seconds on the clock
which all but assured the win.
Memphis opened its 2005-06 season with a 79-52 win over Wisconsin-
Milwaukee…The Tigers own a 5-2 lead in the overall series, but the Tide had
won the last two meetings…This was Memphis’ first-ever trip to Tuscaloosa.