Top Ranked Tigers Survive Cat Fight with Cougars - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jarvis Greer

Top Ranked Tigers Survive Cat Fight with Cougars

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 22 points and

No. 1 Memphis rallied from its first halftime deficit since Dec. 4

to remain undefeated with a 68-59 victory over Houston on Wednesday

night.

The Tigers (24-0, 10-0) have won 47 straight games on their home

floor, 53 in a row in the regular season and 33 straight in

Conference USA.

Robert McKiver had 21 points for Houston (18-5, 7-2), which had

won three straight.

The Cougars dropped to 2-11 against top-ranked teams. Houston

hasn't beaten a No. 1 team since Feb. 18, 1978, against Arkansas.

Antonio Anderson added 12 points, and Derrick Rose had 10 for

Memphis.

Tafari Toney had 14 points for the Cougars, who led 37-35 at

halftime.

It was the first time the Tigers have trailed at halftime since

Southern California led 29-24 in New York. Memphis won that game

62-58 in overtime.

Houston, which had been 17-2 when leading at halftime, turned

Memphis over twice in the opening minute of the second half.

But the Cougars lost their seventh straight in this series after

losing their shooting touch, missing 13 of their first 14 and

finishing 8-of-35 in the second half. McKiver, the Cougars' leading

scorer, was 2-of-13 in the final 20 minutes.

With fans on their feet in the opening minutes of the second

half, Douglas-Roberts and Anderson helped Memphis take control with

a 14-3 run.

Douglas-Roberts scored the first four points of the half and

added a free throw. Anderson scored on a fast-break layup, hit a

3-pointer and hit two of three free throws for a 49-40 lead with

15:55 to go. Rose's 3 with 13:37 left gave the Tigers their first

double-digit lead of the game at 54-44.

It didn't help that the Cougars, the nation's seventh-best

shooting team at the line, only got there twice. Memphis, which had

been ranked 324 out of 325 Division I teams in free throw shooting,

was 19-of-32.

The first half couldn't have been much tighter as the teams

swapped the lead 11 times with six ties, and McKiver put Houston

ahead with his fourth 3-pointer with 1:04 left in the first half.

Douglas-Roberts stole the ball from Toney in the final seconds to

keep it tight.

The Cougars got Tigers senior Joey Dorsey into quick foul

trouble, which helped them control the boards early. Dorsey, who

had three rebounds in the first half, finished with 12 as Memphis

had a 46-37 rebound advantage.

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