No. 5 Memphis cruises to C-USA title
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Antonio Anderson and Chris Douglas-Roberts each
scored 17 points, as fifth-ranked Memphis captured the Conference USA
Tournament title with a 71-59 victory over Houston at FedEx Forum.
Willie Kemp chipped in 10 points and Joey Dorsey contributed nine with 13
rebounds for the Tigers (30-3), who won the conference tournament championship
for the second straight year and will enter the NCAA Tournament next week with
22-game winning streak — the longest in the nation.
Memphis has not lost since December 20 at Arizona and its other two losses
this season came away from home against Georgia Tech and Tennessee. The only
question for the Tigers, who played the conference tournament on their home
floor where they have won 32 in a row, is if they will earn a No. 1 seed in
the NCAA tourney.
Oliver Lafayette scored 23 points to lead Houston (18-15), which has not made
the NCAA Tournament since 1992 and will likely head to the NIT for the third
straight year. Robert McKiver, the team’s leading scorer, was just 2-of-10
from the field and finished with seven points.
Houston came out strong and built a 24-19 lead through the first 10 minutes,
but Memphis closed the opening half with a 21-5 run.
A three-point play by Robert Dozier with just under six minutes left tied the
game at 25-25 and Lafayette followed with a free throw for the Cougars, but a
third-chance layup by Anderson put the Tigers on top for good.
Jahmar Thorpe drilled a three-pointer to pull Houston within 30-29 with just
over two minutes left, but the Cougars committed three turnovers and Memphis
scored the last 10 points of the opening half.
Doneal Mack connected from three-point range just before the halftime buzzer,
sending the Tigers into the break with a 40-29 cushion.
Houston got as close as eight early in the second half on a three-pointer by
Thorpe, but Memphis was never seriously threatened.
Memphis will play in the NCAA Tournament for the 20th time…The Tigers, who
were 33-4 last year, have won 30 games in back-to-back seasons for the first
time in school history…Dozier had 10 rebounds and eight points for the
Tigers…Thorpe scored 15 points in defeat.