Douglas-Roberts, Rose help Memphis into national title gameApr 6, 2008 - 3:06 AM
SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Having beaten Oregon twice during the season, UCLA had no answers for a similar offense that had a little bit of something extra.
Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 28 points and freshman Derrick Rose added 25 as Memphis pummeled the Bruins, 78-63, in the national semifinals of the Final Four on Saturday evening.
Winning for the 12th straight time, the Tigers (38-1) advanced to the championship game for the first time since 1973. They will face Kansas on Monday night.
Memphis also established an NCAA record for wins in a season with its 38th, breaking the tie it had with four other teams, including 2005 national runner-up Illinois.
"(CBS commentator) Billy Packer said that was the most wins, and I'm like, my team didn't even know," Tigers coach John Calipari said. "Then I told them, 'No, no, you got to get to 39 to have the most wins.' Hopefully, we'll have one more in us."
Asked to compared Memphis to a team from the Pac-10 in Friday's pregame press conference, UCLA center Kevin Love said that the Tigers reminded him a lot of Oregon - "on steroids."
The freshman sensation got a firsthand taste of that Saturday, as Douglas-Roberts and Rose had very little trouble getting the shots that they wanted while Love and his teammates had to fight for most of their points.
"Out there, all I'm trying to do is be aggressive," said Rose, who went 7-of-16 from the floor and grabbed nine rebounds. "I'm just trying to be aggressive and just lead my team as a point guard."
The Tigers led by as many as seven points in the first half, but had to settle for a 38-35 edge at the break after the Bruins scored six of the final eight points.
Douglas-Roberts and Rose combined for 24 points in the opening half, and had eight together in the opening moments of the second half to give Memphis a 48-37 bulge.
"Derrick is our point guard and Chris is one of the veterans and they are both leaders on this team," Tigers guard Antonio Anderson said. "We feed off those guys. They have been carrying us the whole way and tonight we just let them do it."
In the Final Four for a third straight time, UCLA (35-4) did close within 50-45 on a layup by Alfred Aboya with 13:39 to play, but Memphis answered back with six of the next eight points, pulling ahead, 56-47, on a layup by Rose with 11:12 left.
Scoring at least 23 points for the fourth time in five games, Douglas-Roberts added an exclamation point to the Tigers' impressive showing with a thunderous dunk over Love on a back-door cut from the right baseline, making it 61-52 with 4:56 remaining.
Combined with Rose, Memphis' guard duo have been on a roll over the past three games, combining for 151 points in wins over Michigan State, Texas and UCLA. They went a combined 16-of-33 from the field on Saturday and attempted all 23 of the Tigers' free-throw attempts, making 20.
"Every game we expect to play really well," said Douglas-Roberts, who shot 9-of-17. "We play off of each other. No selfishness anywhere. Whoever has it going, has it going. And that's why we play so well together. Today we just carried over from the Michigan State and Texas game."
"Those two guys are their key guys, Roberts, Rose," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "They're just really, really good players. They're hard to match up with because of their length and their strength."
One player that got caught up in the size and strength of Douglas-Roberts and Rose was Bruins point guard Darren Collison, who had one of the worst games of the season. The 6-0 junior had just two points on 1-of-9 shooting and committed five turnovers before mercifully fouling out.
Douglas-Roberts and Rose were so dominant that it did not matter that Memphis got nothing in the scoring column from starting forward Joey Dorsey, who did grab 15 rebounds, including six offensive.
"That's their man out there," Love said of Dorsey. "He had 15 rebounds in 27 minutes. "He just kept getting to balls, had a couple big blocks, just played a pretty good game for only playing 27 minutes."
Dorsey also made life tough for Love, who had only two points in the second half en route to finishing with 12. It was the freshman's lowest-scoring output since a hard-fought 67-64 victory over Stanford in the Pac-10 tournament title game on March 15.
"I was just trying to make it hard for him to catch the ball," Dorsey said. "I got some dumb fouls in the beginning and then Coach came over there and just told me, 'You're not playing hard enough.' You know, play more tougher and play with more intensity. That's what I was trying to do the whole game."
Only the second freshman to be named the Pac-10 Player of the Year, Love went 4-of-11 from the field and pulled down nine rebounds.
Unlike Collison, Russell Westbrook had some success penetrating inside against Memphis' guards. He finished with a career-high 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
Early on, it appeared as if UCLA attempted to try and match Memphis in the open court, looking to pull the ball after made baskets. However, the Tigers did an excellent job in getting back on defense and finished with a 14-2 advantage in fast-break points.
"When teams come out like that, we already know it's not going to last for that long because our defense is going to kick in sometime," Rose said. "So we're not worried about that."
"A lot of teams come out and tend to run with us because they really can't prepare for our athleticism and practice" Douglas-Roberts said. "And our depth helps us out a lot because we can bring three or four off the bench, and they're all running too."
Maybe thinking that his players were getting a little high on themselves, Calipari did his best to rein them back in.
"I think there's a couple teams left that can do that (run with Memphis), by the way," he said.
- FINAL FOUR
AT SAN ANTONIO
NCAA BB FINAL FOUR
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
UCLA (2) 35 28 63
MEMPHIS (3) 38 40 78 FINAL
Apr 5 8:15 PM
- FINAL FOUR
AT SAN ANTONIO
NCAA BB (1) UCLA 35
(1) MEMPHIS 38 HALFTIME
Apr 5 7:00 PM
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