for this game

Memphis gets back on track in rout of Drexel

Dec 22, 2008 - 9:36 PM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- A potential matchup between mentor and former pupil never materialized as Memphis rolled to an easy win on Monday.

The 24th-ranked Tigers got 20 points from freshman Tyreke Evans as they rebounded from a rare home loss with an 87-49 rout of Drexel.

The game was supposed to pit Memphis coach John Calipari against former assistant James "Bruiser" Flint, currently the head coach at Drexel.

But Flint, who served as an assistant under Calipari at Massachusetts, was suspended for the contest by the Colonial Athletic Conference following his ejection in Saturday's 81-75 loss at Bucknell.

Flint was assessed two technical fouls in the final 20 seconds of Saturday's game and was suspended for a violation of the league's standards of sportsmanship.

What Flint missed was a dominant performance by Memphis, which was coming off a 72-65 setback to Syracuse on Saturday, just its second home loss in the last 58 games.

"Well, it was exciting to play in this type of environment against a team like Memphis that is just outstanding, with a great coach," said Drexel associate coach Mike Connors, who replaced Flint. "It was just a great environment. I'm disappointed in some of our performances, but as far as coming in here to Memphis, it was a great experience."

Evans scored half of the Tigers' points during a 14-0 run that gave then a 25-9 lead at the 10:19 mark of the first half.

"Today's noon game was all about intensity," Calipari said. "I liked Tyreke at point guard, but it's just so early because I liked Wesley (Witherspoon) at point guard. It's just like we're trying to figure things out."

Memphis (7-3) increased its lead to 36-17 at the half, and led by as many as 44 after the break.

Robert Dozier added 14 points for the Tigers, who also got double-digit scoring from Shawn Taggart with 13. Roburt Sallie added 11 and Doneal Mack added 10.

Despite the lopsided final score, Calipari rode his team throughout the contest for lack of fundamentals and poor communication on defense.

"You know what's amazing is I coached like I did the first couple of years here," Calipari said. "I coached like I did my first four years at UMass. I accepted nothing but an unbelievable effort, and I told them about it. This is like what we need.

"I don't want to coach that way, but I will. I'll do whatever I have to do. It's tiring, and I'm so tired right now."

Traymane Hawthorne led Drexel (2-6) with 26 points. He connected on 10-of-21 from the floor and was 6-of-11 from the arc.

"I thought Tray did well. I mean, that's the way the kid can shoot," Connors said. "He showed it today, you know, if you can come in and put those kind of numbers up against Memphis, then he can do that against the rest of the teams we're playing this year. So, he was a bright spot."

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    Drexel 49, Memphis(24) 87  FinalDec 22 5:51 PM

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    DREXEL 17 32 49
    MEMPHIS (24) 36 51 87 FINAL

    Dec 22 3:02 PM

    DREXEL 17

    Dec 22 1:53 PM