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Friday, December 21, 2007

Rose, Memphis hold off upset-minded Cincinnati


Rose, Memphis hold off upset-minded Cincinnati
December 19, 2007

CINCINNATI -- Derrick Rose and No. 2 Memphis may have been caught looking ahead.

Rose scored 26 points and Antonio Anderson hit a huge 3-pointer late to help the Tigers hold off Cincinnati, 79-69, on Wednesday.

Memphis (9-0), which is off to the second-best start in school history, may have been thinking about its showdown with fifth-ranked Georgetown on tap for Saturday.

But Rose, who is one of the best freshman in the country, helped Memphis stay unbeaten by shooting 7-of-13 from the field, including 5-of-8 from the arc.

His performance made up for a poor showing by the Tigers' leading scorer, Chris Douglas-Roberts, who was held to just four points on 1-of-3 from the floor.

Cincinnati, which missed 11 of its first 13 field-goal attempts in the second half, managed to pull within 70-64 with 2:18 to play. However, Rose hit a big shot from the arc to stretch the lead to nine at 73-64 with 1:56 left.

The Bearcats' John Williamson then converted a three-point play, which caused Joey Dorsey to foul out and cut the lead back to six at 73-67 with 1:31 remaining. Anderson, however, hit a crucial 3-pointer from the left corner 28 seconds later to all but seal the win for the Tigers.

Rose made a free throw and Anderson hit a pair from the stripe to complete the scoring.

The Tigers lost their cool a little, as both Dorsey and coach John Calipari were charged with technical fouls in the final seven minutes, but it mattered little in the end thanks to Rose.

Memphis, which is enjoying its highest ranking since 1985-86, held a slim one-point lead at 33-32 after the opening 20 minutes. But Rose notched 10 points in the first 7:35 of the second half and hit a 3-pointer to help Memphis grab a 50-40 lead with 12:25 to play.

The Tigers then got a huge boost from their bench as Andre Allen scored six straight points and nine of his team's next 12.

After Dorsey hit a free throw, Allen followed with a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 57-45. Allen then completed a three-point play to make it 60-45 with 8:25 to play. Rose hit a jumper and Allen followed with a shot from the arc to make it a 13-point bulge at 65-50 with 6:48 remaining.

The Bearcats responded with a 12-3 run capped by a 3-pointer from Deonta Vaughn that cut the deficit to six points at 68-62 with 3:50 left.

Vaughn scored 20 points for Cincinnati (4-6), which has lost four straight games.

The Tigers went just 21-of-36 (58 percent) from the free-throw line, enabling the Bearcats to hang around until the final minutes.

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