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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

No. 3 Memphis 80, Richmond 63

Rose sparks No. 3 Memphis
Freshman guard's 21 thwart Richmond upset bid
No. 3 Memphis 80, Richmond 63

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Derrick Rose didn't want to wait until getting to New York to explode onto the college basketball scene. Memphis worked just fine.

The freshman had 21 points to help the third-ranked Tigers beat Richmond 80-63 on Tuesday night in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.

Rose was selected the most valuable player of the Memphis regional, scoring 38 points in the first two rounds of the tournament that benefits Coaches vs. Cancer.

"He's another playmaker on a team of playmakers," Memphis guard Chris-Douglas Roberts said. "If you don't know how good he is, you will soon."


The Tigers will play in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 15, and Rose will get his first chance to show a national television audience just how quickly he has adjusted to the college game.

Rose, the highly recruited speedster from Chicago who has drawn plenty of interest from NBA scouts, was 6-for-8 from the field and overcame early foul trouble to lead the Tigers (2-0), who found themselves trailing at home with less than 13 minutes to play.

"He kind of sparked us," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "With Chris, we have two pit bulls now."

David Gonzalez had 25 points for Richmond (1-1), including the first nine of the second half. Gonzalez was 4-of-7 from 3-point range to lead Richmond, which was trying to beat its highest ranked opponent in school history.

The Spiders' last win against a ranked opponent came in January, when they defeated No. 18 Kansas. Richmond has never defeated a top 5 team.

"We took them a little lightly," Gonzalez said. "It's more about athleticism with them. Speed, quickness and all that."

Douglas-Roberts had 19 points and nine rebounds for Memphis, while Robert Dozier added nine points and eight rebounds.

Jarhon Giddings had 11 points and seven rebounds for Richmond, which fatigued late against the Tigers' full-court press.

Rose led a 14-2 run that gave Memphis the lead for good after trailing 48-46. The Tigers made free throws down the stretch to preserve the lead and extend their home winning streak to 34 games, the longest current streak in the nation.

Richmond coach Chris Mooney said Rose forced the Spiders into a fast-paced game, and they couldn't keep up.

"He's great. He's poised. His fundamentals are so good," Mooney said. "His passing, his poise, his dribbling. He's just excellent at every phase."

The Tigers got off to a slow start for the second straight game.

Memphis struggled to penetrate Richmond's zone defense, and was forced to shoot from the perimeter. The first 19 of 26 field goal attempts by the Tigers were from beyond the arc, and they finished shooting just 36 percent from long range.

Last season, the Tigers struggled against zones. The trend seems to have carried over.

Calipari blamed himself for not forcing his players to attack the basket, and said the Tigers can't settle for outside shots.

"We have to get some work done," Calipari said. "We have to aggresive all the time. We have too much talent not to."

Early foul trouble also left Memphis shorthanded, with Douglas-Roberts, Rose and Dozier all picking up their third personal in the first 5 minutes of the second half.

Richmond took advantage of the Tigers' poor shooting and 18 turnovers, including six by Antonio Anderson, who Calipari said played the worst game of his career.

"He was pathetic," Calipari said. "But he's still my guy, and he'll come back."

Gonzalez scored seven consecutive points to give Richmond, which started 6-for-9 from 3-point range, a 29-22 lead.

Reserve Willie Kemp had 11 points as Memphis took a 40-39 halftime lead.

Memphis starting forward Joey Dorsey was not in uniform, missing his second straight game with a right shoulder sprain. Dorsey was hurt during a scrimmage against Saint Louis on Oct. 27. He is expected to play in the semifinals.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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