for this game

Memphis overpowers East Carolina

Jan 10, 2008 - 4:17 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Memphis took a while to get going before running away from East Carolina.

Freshman Derrick Rose scored 19 points to lead four players in double figures as the second-ranked Tigers destroyed East Carolina, 99-58, in the Conference USA opener for both teams Wednesday night.

Andre Allen and Robert Dozier had 13 points apiece for Memphis (14-0, 1-0 C-USA), which extended its nation's-best home winning streak to 42 consecutive games.

The Tigers used a 7-0 closing run to take a 43-29 halftime lead before breaking the game open with some sizzling shooting in the second half.

"They came out of the gate like Ohio State did against LSU," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "When I watched the first five or seven minutes I was like, This team is pretty darn good. But what we do to you over a period of time is just wear you down. We aggressively come at you, and that creates fouls.

"So, you know we just kept coming and coming, and eventually it made it hard."

Memphis hit 12 of its first 16 shots after the break, including three 3-pointers by Allen and another shot from the arc by Willie Kemp to seize a commanding 75-42 advantage with 11:55 to play.

"Think about it, (Allen) was two for 15 to start the season from the three, and maybe that's from the foul line," Calipari said. "Now you're looking at him, and he was better than he was a year ago. He was good last year, and he's better right now."

East Carolina (6-8, 0-1), which had a modest two-game winning streak snapped, had no answers for the Tigers, who have won 18 straight regular-season league games and 24 overall - the longest streak in conference history.

"I think they scored on nine or 10 possessions in a row to start the second half, and some of it was them, some of it was us," Pirates coach Mack McCarthy said. "I think when we turned the ball over we hung our head a little bit, and you can't hang your head much for them. They finish quickly on the other end."

Memphis has trouble shaking the Pirates early, holding just a 33-27 lead with 3:10 to play in the first half.

Shawn Taggart finally got the Tigers going, converting a three-point play and two free throws in the final 1:56 to forge the 43-29 halftime lead.

It could have been worse, but Memphis missed 10-of-30 free-throw attempts in the first half. The Tigers finished 31-of-49 from the stripe for the game.

Memphis also had a dominating 52-31 edge on the backboards as Dozier grabbed 10 rebounds and Joey Dorsey and Taggart had nine apiece.

"In all reality, it's about them rebounding the ball offensively and driving the ball up the goal so hard," McCarthy said. "We knew what they were doing, but stopping them is another thing. They have a lot of great weapons."

Darrell Jenkins and freshman John Fields scored 11 points apiece for East Carolina.

    --- --- -----
    EAST CAROLINA 29 29 58
    MEMPHIS (2) 43 56 99 FINAL

    Jan 9 10:05 PM


    Jan 9 9:00 PM