for this game

Allen, Memphis dominate SMU

Feb 7, 2008 - 5:50 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Memphis came close, but couldn't quite get over the hump in its effort to post the largest winning margin of the season.

Andre Allen scored 19 points and the No. 1 Tigers shot 50 percent (17-of-34) from the floor in the first half en route to a 77-48 victory over Southern Methodist in a Conference USA battle on Wednesday.

Freshman Derrick Rose, Doneal Mack and Joey Dorsey added 10 points apiece for Memphis (22-0, 8-0 C-USA), which notched its 46th straight home victory and remained the only undefeated team in the nation.

"We have broken every record and there are no more records to break," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "All we are doing is adding to records. So let's not worry about records, streaks all the stuff we got going, none of it really matters, we've broken them all now. Let's just worry about getting better.

"So the last two days I extended practice twenty minutes longer, and we went back to drills that we were doing two, three months ago. The intensity in practice went up. The focus in practice went up, we're doing some stuff; free throw shooting which is making it fun."

The Tigers have not lost to a Conference USA opponent since March 2, 2006 at Alabama-Birmingham - a span of 31 games, including conference tournament play.

Memphis pushed its lead to as large as 70-30 with 7:05 remaining in the game on the strength of a 20-2 run, but could not eclipse the 44-point thrashing it put on Siena earlier this season as Calipari emptied his bench in the final minutes. Allen scored eight points during the surge.

The Mustangs (7-13, 1-6) actually jumped out to the early lead, putting the first five points on the board before the Tigers closed the first half on a 40-13 run.

Allen scored 11 points in the opening half on 4-of-5 shooting, including three 3-pointers, and Rose chipped in six to help Memphis build a commanding lead.

"I think that Memphis is such a good team," SMU coach Matt Doherty said. "The turnover issue is something that we try to focus on. We can only do so much. The first half I think that we had something like 13 turnovers that led to 23 points (for Memphis); that's the ballgame."

SMU would never get closer than 40-20, when Bamba Fall made a layup on the first possession of the second half. Fall and Jim Killen each scored 12 points to lead the Mustangs, who have lost eight of their last nine games.

"They're a good team and I think it was a good experience for us," Doherty said. "We would have loved to come in here and win the basketball game, but I think that at the end of the day we just wanted to come in and get the experience."

The Tigers dominated inside, claiming a 43-26 rebounding advantage, led by Dorsey's 14 boards.

Memphis will look to push its undefeated record to 23-0 when it hosts Central Florida on Saturday. The team needs nine more wins to become the first school to finish the regular season undefeated since St. Joseph's accomplished the feat in the 2004-2005 season.

"This thing is about are we getting better?" Calipari said. "Are we ready to advance beyond where we've been? Well, if guys don't change we're not going to advance beyond where we're going to be because we're going to get to that game, that specific moment and the same thing is going to happen for three years in a row. If it does the first time and second time, shame on them. The third time, shame on me."