No. 2 Memphis downs Tulane 75-56 to open tourney - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

No. 2 Memphis downs Tulane 75-56 to open tourney

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 17 points, and No. 2 Memphis advanced to the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament by routing Tulane 75-56 Thursday night on the Tigers' home floor.

Memphis (30-1), the two-time defending tournament champ, will play either Southern Mississippi or No. 4 seed UCF, who played later Thursday night.

Coach John Calipari and the Tigers are trying to lock down a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three seasons. As long as they don't stumble in the conference tournament, a top seed seems like a good bet for Memphis.

That just wasn't going to happen Thursday night, not against No. 9 seed Tulane (17-15). Memphis improved to 38-6 in this series.

Memphis, who beat Tulane 97-71 on Feb. 20, came in having beaten the Green Wave by an average of 30½ points in their past six games. The Green Wave hasn't beaten Memphis since Feb. 9, 2000, or left Memphis with a win over the Tigers since 1992.

Robert Dozier added 14 points for Memphis, his highest-scoring game since that last win against Tulane, and he also grabbed nine rebounds. Doneal Mack added 11 points off the bench. Derrick Rose had six assists and six rebounds to offset a 2-for-8 performance from the floor.

David Gomez led Tulane with 18 points, and Robinson Louisme added 13 on 6-of-7 shooting.

The Tigers even shot well at the free-throw line. A team that came in averaging 58.7 percent finished 22-of-31 - 71 percent. And Memphis dominated on the boards, outrebounding Tulane 43-28.

The Tigers never gave Tulane a chance to get started. They dunked on three of their first four buckets and grabbed eight of the first 10 rebounds. Louisme picked up two fouls within the first 24 seconds and got his third at 16:07, which helped neutralize him on the boards.

Tulane coach Dave Dickerson tried to slow down Memphis, calling two 30-second timeouts inside the opening seven minutes. With the Green Wave missing four of their first five shots, it wasn't enough.

Willie Kemp came off the bench and hit a 3-pointer for Memphis, and Doneal Mack added another for a 16-4 lead at 14:26.

But Memphis went cold, not hitting another shot from the floor after Douglas-Roberts' jumper with 10:40 left in the first half. Tulane tried to take advantage of the Tigers' biggest weakness by sending them to the line.

It didn't work. Memphis connected on 14-of-19 in the first half. Even Dorsey, who has only gotten worse as a senior, hit three of four to draw a loud cheer from the crowd.

Memphis led by as much as 23 in the second half. The fans got so bored they started doing the wave and cheered Dorsey, who has fouled out four times this season, when he picked up his first personal foul with 6:24 to go.

 

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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