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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tigers Tame SMU Mustangs, 88-52

Tigers Tame Mustangs, 88-52
Doneal Mack scores 17 points, goes 5-for-5 on 3-point shots.
Feb. 3, 2007

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Doneal Mack was perfect from the field, and helped No. 11 Memphis remain perfect in Conference USA play.

The freshman guard scored 17 points, hitting all six of his field goals including 5-for-5 on 3-pointers, as the Tigers defeated SMU 88-52 on Saturday.

"It felt good, but you probably won't see that again," Mack said of the shooting performance. "It was a real confidence builder. I know I can go out there and hit the 3."

Mack's shooting helped Memphis (19-3, 9-0) finish 15-for-25 on 3-pointers, and the Tigers shot 61 percent overall.

"If we're making 3s the way we did today, we can beat you by a bunch," Memphis coach John Calipari said.

Memphis won its 26th consecutive home game, and 11th straight overall. It was the most points allowed by the Mustangs (13-9, 2-6), who entered the game with the conference's best defense against 3-pointers, holding opponents to 31 percent on the season.

"Our game plan was to attack with the zone and not let them have dribble penetration," SMU coach Matt Doherty said. "Memphis is not considered a great 3-point shooting team, but they shot 60 percent for the game at the 3-point line. Once they started shooting that well from the 3-point line, our game plan fell apart."

Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 15 for Memphis, while Willie Kemp had 11 points and six assists.

Ike Ofoegbu was the only Mustang in double figures, finishing with 17 points. SMU shot 36 percent for the game.

Memphis built its lead midway through the first half when the Tigers began connecting from outside the arc, then found creases in the SMU zone on drives to the basket. The margin reached double digits about 6 minutes before halftime, and SMU never got close in the second half.

"They were making everything," Ofoegbu said. "I looked up one time and they were 67 percent from the field."

In the first half, Douglas-Roberts scored 13 points, while Mack had 12, hitting four of his 3-pointers as Memphis took a 46-26 lead. The Tigers shot 54 percent on 7-of-13 shots from outside the arc.

Ofoegbu had 11 points in the first half.

The zone defense has been the choice of many Memphis opponents lately, hoping to catch the Tigers on an off shooting night. However, the Tigers say they are becoming more comfortable against the zone. Calipari noted that there's not as much bumping and banging as when teams play man-to-man defense, and with the right passing, there are plenty of open shots.

"We just run and skip the ball and do a lot of things to disrupt their zone because we don't want them to get set and get comfortable," Douglas-Roberts said. "Our man (offense) is the reason they went to a zone because we were driving so much and spaced out. When they go to a zone now, we are still spaced out, and we're getting shots we want."

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