Rose leads balanced effort in another Memphis routFeb 10, 2008 - 12:59 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Freshman Derrick Rose and top-ranked Memphis continue to have very little trouble with the rest of Conference USA.
Rose scored 15 points to lead five players in double figures as the Tigers continued their run through conference play with an 85-64 victory over Central Florida on Saturday.
Joey Dorsey added 12 points and 13 rebounds and Antonio Anderson, Doneal Mack and Robert Dozier each scored 11 for Memphis (23-0, 9-0 C-USA), which extended the nation's longest active home winning streak to 46 games.
The nation's only undefeated team, the Tigers once again had very little problems securing a lopsided result in league play. Overall, they have won their conference games by an average of 23.3 points.
According to Central Florida coach Kirk Speraw, Memphis' ability to quickly turn its opponents' mistakes into points has played a big role in the huge margins.
"That's what they do. They have those spurts," he said. "You have to avoid them, and the biggest part of that is to not turn (the ball) over. They're the best in the country at doing that."
Despite that impressive average, Memphis has been prone to sluggish starts, and Saturday was no different.
A layup by freshman Jean Michel Yotio gave the Knights (12-11, 5-4) a 16-13 lead just eight minutes into the game.
"In the first half, we were a little tentative," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "Guys didn't want to shoot shots, and when we made them, we went up 7-8-9-10-11,"
However, Rose picked up his play thereafter. The young guard capped a 7-0 run with two free throws for a 20-16 edge near the midway point. He added a layup that made it 34-27 with 4:36 remaining and knocked down a 3-pointer less than two minutes before halftime for a 42-33 advantage.
Rose, who ended up fouling out with more than four minutes to go in the contest, added another 3-pointer in a 16-0 run that eventually gave the Tigers a 65-42 lead with 13 minutes remaining.
While Memphis did shoot 48 percent (12-of-25) after the break, it was an improved effort on the defensive end that enabled the Tigers to run away with the game.
"At times, you know, we really swarmed defensively, did some good things," Calipari said. "You notice what they did. They just said, 'We're not going to play them; they're going to have to beat us shooting jumpers.'"
That proved to be a smart tactic for Memphis, as Central Florida went 30 percent (8-of-27) from the floor after intermission and finished 3-of-13 on 3-pointers.
"They're (obviously) a very good team, but what they don't get credit for is that they are so good defensively. It makes it very hard for you to get good looks (on offense)," Speraw said. "It's hard for us to get good looks, especially when you shoot 29 percent in the second half and things are hard to come by."
While the Knights struggled from outside, the Tigers had a strong showing, knocking down 11-of-30 (37 percent) 3-pointers. Nearly everyone on Memphis' roster got into the mix, with nine players finishing with a basket from the arc.
"They shot very consistently from the perimeter," Speraw said. "We obviously took a chance and got beat from the perimeter. They knocked them down tonight and did it with consistency, and you have to give them credit for that."
Kept out of the lineup in Wednesday's 77-48 romp of SMU after allegedly hitting an ex-girlfriend last weekend, Dozier came off the bench to shoot 4-of-8 from the floor - including a 3-pointer - and grab six rebounds.
Memphis' third-leading scorer at 10.6 points, Dozier had started his first 19 games before the incident.
Mike O'Donnell scored 15 points for Central Florida, which lost for the fourth time in five games.
Dave Noel and Jermaine Taylor added 13 points apiece for the Knights, who did convert 21-of-27 (78 percent) free throws.
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- UCF introduces Johnny Dawkins as new men's basketball coach Mar 24
- UCF hires Johnny Dawkins as next men's basketball coach Mar 23
- Memphis reviewing possible AD, coach conflict of interest Mar 22
- Josh Pastner to stay at Memphis despite missing NCAAs again Mar 18
- UCF fires coach Donnie Jones following loss in AAC tourney Mar 11
- American Athletic Conference suspends Memphis' Shaq Goodwin Jan 5
- UCF's Taylor to miss remainder of season with leg injury Dec 23
- NCAA clears UCF 7-foot-6 recruit Tacko Fall to play Nov 13
- UCF files for academic waiver for 7-6 recruit Tacko Fall Nov 12
- Eligibility of 7-foot-6 UCF recruit in doubt as season nears Nov 10