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Memphis runs home win streak to 40 games

Jan 5, 2008 - 9:41 PM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Memphis looks more than ready for its Conference USA schedule.

Doneal Mack scored all 23 of his points in the second half as second-ranked Memphis remained unbeaten with a 90-53 rout of Pepperdine on Saturday.

Entering the day as one of six teams yet to lose, the Tigers (13-0) have won 12 of their 13 games by double digits. They were coming off Thursday's 102-58 thrashing of Siena.

In its last game before hosting conference foe East Carolina on Wednesday, Memphis was locked in a tight contest for almost 12 minutes before using a 21-9 surge to close the half to open a 44-31 advantage at the break.

"Some may say that it will be easy for us since we've won a lot in the league," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "But, go and look at our stats from the last two years and you'll see that the conference teams play us tougher than the non-league teams."

Just eighth in scoring on a deep squad, Mack helped the Tigers build upon their halftime cushion with a huge final 20 minutes.

Mack, who entered averaging 6.7 points, made seven 3-pointers in the second half and finished 8-of-15 from the field. The sophomore did not attempt a shot in the first half.

"Several players played well for us," Calipari said. "I was so happy for Doneal (Mack) today. He had struggled recently. When he started making shots, did you know everybody on the floor tried to get him the ball? Did you see the bench?

"The last game, they did it for Jeff Robinson. They want each other to play well. Antonio (Anderson) said, 'Leave Doneal in. Don't put me back in. Let him play.'"

With Mack leading the way, the Tigers made 15-of-34 shots (44 percent) from the arc.

Chris Douglas-Roberts added 14 points and Antonio Anderson and Willie Kemp each contributed 12 for the Tigers, who extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 40 games. They have not lost at home since falling to Texas on January 2, 2006.

Anderson threw down a dunk and drilled a 3-pointer in the spurt to close the first half that gave the Tigers control.

Tyrone Shelley scored 17 points to lead the road-weary Waves (5-10), who lost their fourth straight game. Pepperdine was playing its seventh straight contest away from home.

"Memphis is a heck of a team," Pepperdine coach Vance Walberg said. "They are about as good as they come, and they just wear you down."

Pepperdine shot just 32 percent (19-of-60), including a woeful 3-of-21 showing from 3-point range.

    --- --- -----
    PEPPERDINE 31 22 53
    MEMPHIS (2) 44 46 90 FINAL

    Jan 5 2:55 PM


    Jan 5 1:51 PM