No. 7 Memphis clinches C-USA with Rice rout
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Willie Kemp scored 20 points on 8-of-10
shooting as seventh-ranked Memphis extended the nation’s longest winning
streak to 16 games by pummeling Rice, 99-63, in a Conference USA battle at
Jeremy Hunt deposited 16 points for Memphis (24-3, 13-0), which clinched their
second-straight Conference USA title with the win. Chris Douglas-Roberts and
Antonio Anderson added 14 points apiece for the Tigers, who won for the 28th
straight time at home.
“I thought Antonio Anderson was outstanding and so was Chris Douglas-Roberts,
said Memphis coach John Calipari. “Early on Chris was a little bit shaky, but
I thought he got better as the game went on. We’re a good team.”
Morris Almond scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Rice ( 13-3, 7-6),
which has lost three in a row. Cory Pflieger pitched in with 10 points for
the Owls, who have lost seven of nine true road games this season.
Aleks Perka’s jumper pulled Rice to within 67-51 midway through the second
half, but Memphis blew the game open with a 20-2 run, capped with a couple of
Joey Dorsey dunks and a Kemp layup, giving the Tigers a commanding 87-53 lead
with 5:52 left in the contest.
“I think you have to (control the tempo) against this team, and it’s not an
easy thing to do,” said Rice coach Willis Wilson. “It’s much more difficult
to do than to say. I just thought that we didn’t have the strength to sustain
it when we needed to. It was just some defensive assignments that we blew that
you can’t blow against a good team.”
Memphis jumped on the Owls early with a 9-0 burst, but Rice responded with a
14-2 run, capped by two Paulius Packevicius free throws putting the Owls ahead
14-11 with 11:50 remaining in the first half.
Less than a minute later an Anderson three put Memphis back on top
16-14. The Tigers never trailed thereafter.
Memphis outscored Rice 36-20 the rest of the session and took a 52-34
advantage into the intermission.
Memphis started the game 0-for-7 from 3-point range but ended up shooting 15-
of-32 (47 percent) from outside the arc…Kemp shot 4-of-6 from downtown.
Rice committed 20 turnovers…Memphis leads the series 4-0.