59 - 68 Final
  for this game

Douglas-Roberts, Memphis top Houston with second-half run

Feb 14, 2008 - 6:25 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) - Chris Douglas-Roberts and Memphis responded to a challenge the way a No. 1 team should.

Douglas-Roberts scored 22 points as the top-ranked Tigers used an early second-half burst to post a 68-59 victory over Houston in Conference USA on Wednesday.

Antonio Anderson had 12 points and freshman Derrick Rose chipped in 10 for Memphis (24-0, 10-0 C-USA), which captured its seventh straight contest over Houston.

The lone unbeaten in the country, the Tigers' latest win was in doubt for at least a half. Despite 10 points from Douglas-Roberts, Memphis found itself down at the half, 37-35.

It was the first time that Memphis trailed at halftime since a 62-58 win over Southern California on December 4.

However, Memphis coach John Calipari was happy with the close contest.

"This was exactly the type of game that we needed to play," Calipari said. "Everybody said to me, 'Did you go crazy at halftime?' I really didn't raise my voice. If I have to raise my voice at this time of the year at halftime, then we're petering out.

"I went in and I just said, 'This is what we needed.' You're talking about a team that is playing for their lives; they outscraped us, outrebounded us and made a few shots. Some of them were like, oh my gosh. So now I said, 'We're at halftime of the NCAA tournament, let's see how we perform.' We went over a couple of things defensively. I heard them say it, the first five minutes you know how we play, the first five minutes."

And that is just what the Tigers, who had won their previous 46 games at home, did.

Behind Douglas-Roberts, Memphis ripped off a 12-3 run to start the second half. The junior guard had consecutive jumpers to start the run and finished with five points.

Shooting 7-of-13 from the field, Douglas-Roberts had a layup with 8:10 that made it 61-52 with 8:10.

Although the Tigers could not completely put away the Cougars, Houston got no closer than four points the rest of the way.

"I thought this was a tournament-type game," Houston coach Tom Penders said. "It is a really competitive ballgame. I think the better team won tonight. Memphis finds a lot of ways to win, but I'm proud of our kids for how hard they played and how they scrapped and we hung in there."

Joey Dorsey continued to come off the bench, grabbing 12 rebounds to go along with six points. Robert Dozier added eight points and 11 boards for Memphis, which finished with a 46-37 advantage on the glass.

The Tigers also finished with a 38-20 margin in points in the paint.

Rob McKiver scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half for Houston (18-5, 7-2), which went 37 percent (11-of-30) on 3-pointers.

"Threes are part of our attack. We shoot threes fairly consistently," Penders said. "We shoot 34-35 percent from three, and that's like shooting 50 percent from inside. I thought we also attacked the rim. We went inside and drove but we couldn't get a lot of shots."

The decision to attack the Tigers from the outside showed up in a big way at the free-throw line for the Cougars, who had 30 less attempts from there than Memphis (32).