for this game

Dorsey leads Memphis to rout of UAB

Mar 8, 2008 - 10:07 PM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Senior Joey Dorsey made sure that Memphis wouldn't need any late-game heroics against Alabama-Birmingham this time around.

Dorsey scored 12 first-half points as the third-ranked Tigers raced out to a commanding lead early and cruised to a convincing 94-56 victory in Conference USA on Saturday.

One of two seniors for Memphis (30-1, 16-0 C-USA), Dorsey finished with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and pulled down 12 rebounds in his final regular-season home game to record his 26th career double-double.

"When Joey Dorsey has that kind of presence around the basket, we are really, really good," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "We have been trying to figure out ways to get him going. He was tremendous."

The win secured the Tigers' unprecedented second consecutive undefeated C-USA season. They had already clinched their third straight conference title last Saturday with a 76-67 victory over Southern Mississippi.

Saturday's game was in stark contrast to the previous meeting between the teams in Birmingham on February 16, when Memphis squeaked out a thrilling 79-78 win. A three-point play by Chris Douglas-Roberts with 6.5 seconds left gave the Tigers the lead, and a UAB basket at the other end was ruled to have been released after time ran out.

Memphis raced out to a 10-0 lead over the first three minutes of Saturday's game as UAB turned the ball over six times.

"We wanted to tell them this was not going to be a game like Birmingham," Tigers freshman guard Derrick Rose said. "When you hit a team like that, it kind of takes down their confidence a little bit."

Antonio Anderson scored the first four points of the game, and Douglas-Roberts capped off the opening run with a 3-pointer at the 16:35 mark.

"We couldn't execute anything," UAB coach Mike Davis said. "We shouldn't have even scored what we did score. Memphis was aggressive when they came out. They were focused, and we played right into their hands."

The Blazers (22-9, 12-4) scored the next six points, but the Tigers took charge again, going on a 38-10 stretch that opened an insurmountable 48-20 lead at the half. UAB turned the ball over 18 times through the first 20 minutes.

After a layup by UAB's Frank Holmes opened the second half, Douglas-Roberts scored six points to give Memphis a 54-22 lead less than two minutes in.

The Tigers continued to dominate and led by as many as 42 points to win going away.

"We came in today, and I said: 'I'm not losing on Senior Night. I'm going to come out with so much energy, and you all just follow me,'" Dorsey said.

The Blazers were led by Lawrence Kinnard, who scored 16 points. Leading scorer Robert Vaden finished with 13 points, nine below his regular-season average of 22, and connected on only 3-of-13 3-point attempts.

UAB, which will be the second seed for the C-USA tournament, shot 34 percent (17-of-50) from the field.

"That was a team that was satisfied with second place in the conference," Davis said. "We weren't prepared to face a team that had a chip on its shoulder. We thought everything was going to be easy.

"It never seemed like we had this game. It was like everything was pulling toward next week with the conference tournament."

Andre Allen added 11 points for the Tigers, while Anderson and Doneal Mack each added 10.

Memphis shot 49 percent (35-of-71) from the floor in notching its fourth straight victory.

The win also gave Calipari the fifth 30-win season of his career and third straight, joining former Kentucky legend Adolph Rupp as the only other coach to reach the 30-win plateau in three consecutive campaigns.

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    UAB 20 36 56
    MEMPHIS (3) 48 46 94 FINAL

    Mar 8 3:05 PM

    UAB 20

    Mar 8 1:55 PM