Memphis pulls away for 18th straight winMar 2, 2007 - 7:23 AM EL PASO, Texas (Ticker) -- Texas-El Paso hung in for as long as it could, but in the end Memphis continued its dominance in Conference USA.
Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 21 points as the seventh-ranked Tigers used a late second-half spurt to extend its undefeated conference run with a 78-67 victory over the Miners.
Although UTEP pulled to within a point at 59-58 with seven minutes to play, Memphis (26-3, 15-0 C-USA) went on a 9-0 run over the next two minutes to open up the game. Douglas-Roberts had five points during the decisive burst.
UTEP drew within 68-63 with 3:49 remaining on two free throws by Stefon Jackson. Kevin Henderson, playing in his final home game for the Miners, misfired on a 3-point attempt with 2:25 to play that could have closed the gap to two points.
Douglas-Roberts nailed a jumper at 1:57 and Robert Dozier hit a foul shot 23 ticks later to widen Memphis' margin to 71-63. UTEP got no closer than seven.
"It was a good game," UTEP coach Tony Barbee said. "I'm disappointed that we didn't win. Our guys played hard. It's not the talent that makes Memphis so good, it's the intensity that they bring to everything that they do."
Jeremy Hunt scored 19 points for the Tigers.
Jackson scored 19 points for UTEP, which outshot Memphis but committed 21 turnovers and were outrebounded, 47-33. The Miners finished at 47 percent (24-of-51), compared to 41 percent (28-of-68) for the Tigers.
"We shot the ball well, and when we've done that we've been pretty good this season," Barbee said. "We didn't rebound well, and we didn't take care of the basketball. They had 17 more field-goal attempts than us, which is something that we try to do."
Memphis let UTEP (14-15, 6-9) hang around due to its inability to hit free throws, finishing just 11-of-25 (44 percent) from the stripe.
The Tigers will attempt to finish the regular season undefeated in league play when they travel to Southern Methodist on Saturday.
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- SMU and Memphis collide in AAC action Feb 26
- No. 3 Gonzaga routs Memphis Feb 1
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- No. 3 Arizona outlasts UTEP Dec 20