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Memphis shreds Tulane with second-half blitz

Mar 7, 2009 - 9:34 PM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Memphis turned up its defense to complete a third consecutive undefeated conference season.

Freshman point guard Tyreke Evans had 17 points and 10 rebounds and the third-ranked Tigers pulled away in the final 10 minutes to post a 74-47 victory over Tulane in Conference USA on Saturday.

Senior Robert Dozier (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Shawn Taggert (14 and 10) also had double-doubles as Memphis (28-3, 16-0) ran its conference winning streak to 58 games.

The 6-9 Dozier had seven points and five rebounds in a 23-2 game-breaking surge to send the Tigers into the conference tournament as the top seed following a third straight perfect regular season in league play.

"I thought Robert Dozier was tremendous, especially how he played at the end," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "That's the guy I want to be coaching the rest of the way. He just came out of nowhere."

The Tigers held Tulane (13-16, 7-9) without a field goal for the final 10 1/2 minutes in beating the Green Wave for the 16th consecutive time.

Tulane was surprisingly competitive for the opening 30 minute, cutting a nine-point halftime deficit to one before Memphis turned on the jets.

with the Tigers leading, 47-43, Dozier hit a 3-pointer to ignite the 23-2 spurt, including 16 straight points that featured a pair of 3-pointers from Roburt Sallie for a 70-45 cushion.

Sallie chipped in 11 points for Memphis, which used a 43-23 edge on the backboards to extend its nation's-best winning streak to 22 games.

"What I'm worried about is in the last few games now that we played just well enough to win," Calipari said. "You see them huddle out there with nine minutes left and they're telling each other as a team, OK, let's go. You can't do that against a really good team. You'll be down by 20, or you'll be really close and a really good team will continue to make plays."

Kevin Sims scored 14 points for the Green Wave, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

"The problem that Memphis presents to everyone in our conference is that we're not used to playing against two guys being 6-9 and 6-10 with long arms," Tulane coach Dave Dickerson said. "Evans is probably the best player in our conference (nd) had ten rebounds and got a double-double tonight."