Memphis wins 25th straight by edging Aggies
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Antonio Anderson’s two free throws with 3.1
seconds left boosted Memphis to a thrilling 65-64 win over Texas A&M, as the
Tigers extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 25 games and moved into
the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Jeremy Hunt had 19 points for the second-seeded Tigers (33-3), who will face
top seed Ohio State in the South Regional final at the Alamodome on Saturday.
The Buckeyes edged fifth-seeded Tennessee, 85-84.
Chris Douglas-Roberts added 15 points for Memphis, which is into the Elite
Eight for the second straight year. In 2006, the Tigers were eliminated by
UCLA in their attempt to get to the Final Four.
“We had foul trouble that was ridiculous,” Memphis coach John Calipari said.
“We had played guys I haven’t played all years, in this game, in this
environment. And we just hung around, that’s all we were trying to do. And in
the end made a couple of free throws, made a couple of baskets and walked away
with a W, in front of 30,000 Aggies, which makes it even more of an amazing
Antanas Kavaliauskas scored 17 for Texas A&M (27-7), which has never won three
straight games in the NCAA Tournament. Joseph Jones had 14 points and Acie Law
IV 13 for the third-seeded Aggies.
“We fell short, but I really believe that we came a long way,” Law said. “We
had a great season. And I think that the future is very, very bright for this
program. It’s headed in the right direction. And the sky is the limit for
Josh Carter’s one free throw moved the Aggies ahead 64-63 with 1:50 remaining.
Texas A&M then came up with a loose ball, as Law saved it from going out of
bounds. However, after a timeout with the shot clock running down, the Aggies
couldn’t capitalize on a long pass, as Law missed a layup.
Memphis then had four cracks at the basket before Anderson was fouled and hit
two free throws with 3.1 seconds left to give Memphis the lead. Andre Allen
missed a three and Hunt failed on a jumper from the left baseline. Robert
Dozier then missed a putback under the basket, and Anderson was fouled by
Donald Sloan before making two free throws.
“Being a basketball player, you look for situations like that,” Anderson said.
“You want the game in your hands, if you’ve got the mentality as a player. I
had that. When I got to the line I knew my teammates were tired, we were all
beat down, and I said, let me get this game over with. I missed free throws
earlier, and I just had to knock them down.”
Dozier tipped the ensuing inbounds pass out of bounds, but officials did the
Tigers a favor by taking 1.1 seconds off the clock. The Aggies then inbounded
the ball to Dominique Kirk, whose shot just inside half-court was well off the
“They did a fantastic job only fouling us four times on the second half,”
Aggies coach Billy Gillispie said. “We didn’t get enough foul shots. We fouled
too much in the second half and gave them too many.”
The first half was tight throughout. A pair of foul shots from Douglas-Roberts
moved Memphis to a 23-19 lead, before the Aggies rallied. A&M had the final
seven points of the half to grab a 42-37 advantage at the break.
Neither team led by more than five in the second half, although there were a
couple swings of momentum. A layup from Jones extended A&M’s lead to 48-43
before Memphis scored the next 10 points, capped by a free throw from Douglas-
Roberts with just over 11 minutes left.
Memphis’ last trip to the Final Four was in 1985 when the Tigers were beaten
by Villanova…Law was 6-of-17 from the field in his final game for the