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Douglas-Roberts brings Memphis back

Feb 17, 2008 - 5:45 AM BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Ticker) -- Robert Vaden did his best to end Memphis' run at perfection, but Chris Douglas-Roberts and Antonio Anderson wouldn't let the dream die.

The two stars combined for 59 points, including nine in the final 90 seconds, to lead the top-ranked Tigers to a 79-78 victory over a tough Alabama-Birmingham squad in Conference USA on Saturday night.

Memphis (25-10, 11-0 C-USA) entered with 43 straight regular-season victories after rallying from a first-half deficit to beat Houston on Wednesday. However, it didn't look like it would have enough to come back from a 77-70 hole with just 1:30 left in the contest.

Anderson started the spurt with a 3-pointer and Douglas-Roberts knocked down a shot from the arc with 40 ticks left to cut the deficit to 77-76. After Vaden split a pair of free throws, Roberts converted a spinning drive from the left side with six seconds left, was fouled and converted the free throw to provide a 79-78 lead.

A desperation 3-pointer in the closing seconds by UAB didn't draw iron, but the ball ended up in Lawrence Kinnard's hands. He made a shot from inside of the lane but it was ruled after the buzzer.

Douglas-Roberts finished with 32 points - 19 in the first half - and Anderson 27, including four 3-pointers. The guards combined to shoot 22-of-35 from the floor, but the rest of the squad converted just 6-of-28.

Freshman standout Derrick Rose was 2-of-13 from the floor en route to six points.

Vaden scored 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including eight straight over a 67-second span in the second half to give UAB a 68-64 lead with 8:36 left. His 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer provided a 43-41 lead. He finished 4-of-9 from the arc.

Kinnard also was brilliant for UAB (17-8, 7-3), collecting 19 points and 11 rebounds.

The Blazers outshot the Tigers, converting 51 percent (26-of-51) to 44 percent (28-of-63) and held a 35-30 edge in rebounding. However, Memphis finished with an 11-6 edge on 3-pointers and committed just seven turnovers - eight fewer than UAB.

UAB used a 15-2 run - sparked by 3-pointers by Kinnard and Vaden - midway through the first half to take a 27-16 lead with 7:53 left.

Douglas-Roberts sparked a 13-5 run late in the opening 20 minutes with a 3-pointer, layup and three-point play to provide a 41-40 lead.