No. 5 Memphis rolls into C-USA Final
=== No. 5 Memphis rolls into C-USA Final ===
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Shawne Williams netted 23 points and pulled
down eight rebounds to lead fifth-ranked Memphis past Houston, 68-54, in the
semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament at the FedExForum.
Rodney Carney added 17 points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from long range for
the top-seeded Tigers (29-3), who move on to face the winner of the Texas-El
Paso – UAB tilt in Saturday’s final. Joey Dorsey chipped in with nine points
and nine boards in the win.
Oliver Lafayette recorded 20 points for the fifth-seeded Cougars (20-9), who
lost for just the third time in their past 12 outings. Lanny Smith and Ramon
Dyer each netted 12 points in the loss.
Houston played the more talented Tigers very tough. Down by just four points
entering the final frame, the Cougars scored the first 10 points of the half.
Dyer fueled the flurry by burying back-to-back threes. After Smith connected
on a layup, Dyer capped the burst by hitting two from the line and making the
score 36-30 with less than three minutes gone in the stanza.
Dyer’s early heroics seemed to wake the Tigers up, however, and Memphis went
on a 9-0 run to regain the advantage. Carney highlighted the spurt with a pair
of jumpers and Robert Dozier capped it by connecting on 1-of-2 from the line
to make it 39-36 with 14:18 left.
The Tigers continued to extend their cushion from there. Williams’ lay-in with
under nine minutes left gave Memphis a 10-point lead, 52-42.
Clyde Wade’s layup with 32 ticks left gave the Tigers their largest lead of
the night, 68-52.
Antonio Anderson buried a triple at the buzzer to give Memphis a 30-26 edge at
intermission. Williams notched 13 to pace Memphis at the half, while Lafayette
had 12 for Houston.
Houston finished a dismal 7-for-33 from long range and lost the battle of the
boards 45-29…Memphis is 18-1 at FedExForum this season…Memphis now leads
the all-time series, 15-10…Houston is 4-9 all-time in the Conference USA
tourney while Memphis is now 9-10.