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Hunt, Memphis edge Southern Miss to extend home winning streak

Jan 27, 2007 - 9:57 PM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Jeremy Hunt and Memphis had to battle to keep their home winning streak intact.

Hunt scored 21 points off the bench and Andre Allen buried the go-ahead 3-pointer to lead the 14th-ranked Tigers to a 67-64 triumph over Southern Mississippi in Conference USA play.

It was the 25th consecutive home victory for Memphis (17-3, 7-0 Conference USA), which owns the fourth-longest active home winning streak in the country.

But the Tigers had to scramble against the Golden Eagles (13-6, 3-3), who led by as many as six points in the second half but have now lost six straight contests to Memphis.

"We're still not where we need to be," Tigers coach John Calipari said. "But I'm telling you, we played today. They just played better. We were fortunate to win."

"I think (Calipari) has a tough task keeping a team going when they've won so many games in a row," Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy said. "John did a terrific job down the end making some decisions."

Memphis grabbed a 58-55 lead when Hunt, who shot 4-of-9 from the arc, made a 3-pointer with four minutes left. But Sai'quon Stone converted a three-point play and Craig Craft hit a jumper over the next 76 seconds to give Southern Miss a 60-59 advantage.

Freshman Jeremy Wise made a jumper with 2:12 left to snap a 60-60 tie and give the Golden Eagles an improbable late lead.

But Allen answered 15 seconds later, drilling a 3-pointer to make it 63-62 and giving Memphis the lead for good.

"I give Memphis credit," Eustachy said. "Hunt hit a huge shot against the zone. Allen hit a huge shot. You've got to give those two guys credit."

Chris Douglas-Roberts made a layup and converted a pair of free throws over the final 1:22 to seal the victory.

"Andre Allen made a big shot, and then Chris came over and said, 'Coach, ride me for a while,'" Calipari said. "Whenever a player says that to me, I ride them. We just gave it to him and gave it to him."

Douglas-Roberts, who had missed the previous two contests with a sprained ankle, scored 15 points while Joey Dorsey grabbed 16 rebounds for the Tigers, who improved to 12-0 at home this season.

"We have three guys on our team who are up for games like this," Calipari said. "We need games like this, even at home."

Wise scored 28 points and Stone chipped in 15 for the Golden Eagles, who have dropped four of six road games this season.

"We've finally got to turn the corner and realize these are games we need to win," Eustachy said. "We have to put this game behind us and look forward."