for this game

Evans helps Memphis pull away against SMU

Feb 5, 2009 - 6:22 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- It looked tenuous at times, but No. 15 Memphis managed to keep all of its winning streaks intact.

Freshman Tyreke Evans scored 26 points to lead Memphis to a 79-66 victory over a surprisingly competitive Southern Methodist squad on Wednesday.

Shawn Taggert added 14 points and Robert Dozier scored 13 for the Tigers, who have won 13 straight and pushed their winning streak against Conference USA opponents to an even 50 games.

"It took one of our better efforts to win this game today," Memphis coach John Calipari told the Dallas Morning News. "Their shooting percentage from the floor and from the three are probably the highest against our team this year, and (Mustangs coach) Matt (Doherty) had them ready playing that zone, sagging and doing the things that they did.

"We just made some shots, made some plays and played pretty well offensively."

Memphis (19-3, 8-0 C-USA) has not had much of a problem with any team in Conference USA over the last three years, but the Mustangs held strong well into the second half.

Paul McCoy's layup with 13:43 left in the contest gave SMU a brief 41-39 lead, but Antonio Anderson tied it with a jumper and Evans scored five points during an 11-0 run that gave the Tigers the lead for good.

Anderson and Taggert scored eight points apiece over the final eight minutes.

McCoy led the way with 16 points for the Mustangs (6-14, 1-7), who have dropped five straight.

"I'm proud of the effort, but I'm disappointed that we didn't finish the job," Doherty told the newspaper.

Evans scored 16 points after the break and finished 8-of-18 from the field and 8-of-11 from the free-throw line in his second-biggest scoring output of the season. He hit all four of his attempts from the charity stripe in the final two minutes while the Tigers went 12-of-14 from the line in the final 2:10.

The Mustangs finished with 46 percent (26-of-57) shooting and remained close by knocking down 9-of-17 attempts from beyond the arc.