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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Intentional Foul Call Leaves CDR Frustrated

Foul call leaves Tiger frustrated
Douglas-Roberts: 'It wasn't intentional'

By Scott Cacciola
March 25, 2007

SAN ANTONIO -- In Chris Douglas-Roberts' opinion, it was personal. A personal foul, that is.

When Douglas-Roberts, a sophomore guard for the University of Memphis, reached out and grabbed Ohio State's Greg Oden with 9:43 remaining in the second half at the Alamodome on Saturday, he thought he was preventing a dunk and a huge momentum boost for the Buckeyes in the South Regional final of the NCAA Tournament.

Instead, the play turned into a five-point swing for Ohio State -- a series of events that Douglas-Roberts considered to be the turning point in Ohio State's 92-76 victory.

"I mean, I regret it now that I know it would be an intentional foul," Douglas-Roberts said. "It wasn't intentional. It was a personal foul on the floor."

The officials, of course, saw it differently. Memphis was leading, 60-57, when Oden caught a pass near the basket at the end of a fast break. Though Douglas-Roberts appeared to put his arms around Oden before he began his shooting motion, the officials counted Oden's layup and assessed Douglas-Roberts with an intentional foul.

Oden only made the first of two free throws, but Ohio State retained possession when Memphis knocked the ball out of bounds on the scramble for the rebound. Jamar Butler was fouled two seconds later and made both of his free throws. A 3-point deficit for the Buckeyes had morphed into a 2-point lead.

"It just changed the whole rhythm," Douglas-Roberts said. "It just changed everything."

Memphis coach John Calipari said he missed the play and would have to review it on tape before he offered an assessment.

"I really hope it was an intentional foul," he said, "because it was a difference maker in the game. It changed the whole complexion of the game."

Some of his players were less diplomatic.

"That was the worst intentional foul I've ever seen in my life," sophomore guard Antonio Anderson said. "He just barely grabbed him."

Either way, it was Douglas-Roberts' fourth foul and sent him to the bench. To that point, he had been Memphis' most dynamic option on offense in the second half, scoring 10 of his team's 22 points. When he checked back into the game less than four minutes later, the Tigers were trailing, 69-64. They could not recover.

"I obviously thought it was a good call," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "But I don't know if it was that much of an impact."

Douglas-Roberts finished with 14 points and four rebounds and was named to the South Regional All-Tournament Team.

"I mean, all-tournament team doesn't mean nothing," he said. "I'm out. I'm going home. Fishing."

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