for this game

Dozier, Memphis down Southern Miss to extend winning streak

Mar 1, 2009 - 12:24 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Robert Dozier and Memphis did not get much time to prepare for their game against Conference USA foe Southern Mississippi.

But the weary Tigers had enough left in the tank to extend college basketball's longest winning streak this season.

Dozier scored 18 points Saturday, leading fourth-ranked Memphis to a 58-42 victory over Southern Mississippi.

It was the 20th consecutive win for the Tigers (26-3, 14-0 C-USA), who eclipsed the 19-game winning streak set earlier this season by Utah State. The victory came less than 48 hours after Memphis' hard-fought victory at Alabama-Birmingham on Thursday night.

"We got back at 1 in the morning, and they probably they didn't get to sleep until 3," Memphis head coach John Calipari said. "They go to class (Friday), and we practiced but we couldn't do anything except shoot free throws.

"We didn't shoot around this morning because the game was too early, so they come out and play. I'm surprised they played as well as they did."

Dozier, who went 6-of-8 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, acknowledged that the Tigers were drained from their demanding schedule.

"You could see it in their faces," he said. "But we pushed through it and played great enough defense to get the W, and that's all that matters around here."

Freshman Tyreke Evans added 14 points for the Tigers, who recorded their 56th consecutive Conference USA victory.

Despite shooting just under 43 percent (24-of-56) from the floor, Memphis locked down Southern Miss (14-14, 4-10) on the defensive end, limiting the Golden Eagles to just 29 percent (15-of-51) shooting.

"I have to give credit to Memphis for the way they played and the way they are coached," Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy said. "I really think (Calipari) is a candidate for national coach of the year. The way they play, they are hard to score against."

Antonio Anderson scored 10 points for the Tigers while Shawn Taggart added eight.

Jeremy Wise and R.L. Horton scored 14 points apiece to pace Southern Miss, which has lost its last nine visits to Memphis.

Memphis dominated the contest in the first half, allowing the Golden Eagles to shoot just 19 percent (5-of-26) en route to a commanding 32-14 lead at intermission.

"I think early in the first half, we kind of had it going," Dozier said. "In the second half, guys kind of got tired mentally and physically, and it showed a little bit."