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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Picture Perfect: Tigers Top SMU to Complete 16-0 C-USA Season

Picture Perfect: Tigers Top SMU to Complete 16-0 C-USA Season
Memphis escaped a strong showing from the host Mustangs to win 64-61.

March 3, 2007

DALLAS (AP) - Chris Douglas-Roberts had 19 points with the key basket late and No. 6 Memphis won its 19th straight game to complete a perfect record in Conference USA with an unexpectedly difficult 64-61 victory at SMU on Saturday night.

The Tigers (27-3, 16-0 C-USA) overcame an early 11-point deficit to lead at halftime, but didn't go ahead for good until Douglas-Roberts hit a 3-pointer to make it 59-57 with 3:47 left.

Memphis became the first C-USA team to get through league play without a loss since Cincinnati was the first to do it in 1999-2000. Big South champion Winthrop, which clinched an automatic NCAA berth Saturday, is the only other team to get through conference play undefeated.

SMU (14-16, 3-13) lost for the eighth time in nine games, a stretch that began with a 36-point loss at Memphis on Feb. 3.

Jeremy Hunt missed the rim with a 3-point attempt with 1:02 left for Memphis, but Joey Dorsey grabbed the rebound and scored on a putback to make it 61-58. With 22 seconds left, Hunt made the second of his free throws for a 62-58 lead.

Devon Pearson then made a 3-pointer for SMU, falling down and under the feet of coach Matt Doherty.

Douglas-Roberts was then fouled in the backcourt and missed two free throws with 13.6 seconds left. But he got the long rebound on the second miss and was fouled again, hitting the next two shots.

Ike Ofoegbu's 3-point attempt at the buzzer came up short for SMU, which hasn't beaten a ranked team at home since 1993.

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