Top-ranked Tigers demolish UCF
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose had 15 points and five assists as top-ranked Memphis easily bested UCF, 85-64, at FedExForum.
Joey Dorsey added 12 points and 13 rebounds while Robert Dozier had 11 points and six rebounds for the Tigers (23-0, 9-0 C-USA), who are the only undefeated team in the nation and also extended their home winning streak to 46 games, which is the longest in the country.
Dozier returned after serving a suspension for violating team rules.
"At times you know we really swarmed defensively, did some good things," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "You notice what they did. They just said we're not going to play them; they're going to have to beat us shooting jumpers. In the first half we were a little tentative, guys didn't want to shoot shots and when we made them we went up 7-8-9-10-11."
Mike O'Donnell had 15 points while Dave Noel and Jermaine Taylor each added 13 points for the Knights (12-11, 5-4), who have dropped four of their last five games.
The Knights held an early 10-6 lead on the strength of a Taylor jumper less than five minutes in.
A short time later, Memphis answered with a pair of buckets to jump on top, but UCF answered with a basket and the lead see-sawed back and forth for the next several minutes.
Memphis later used an 8-0 run to grab a 34-27 advantage on the strength of a Rose layup with under five minutes left in the first half.
"They have those spurts," UCF coach Kirk Speraw said. "You have to avoid them and the biggest part of that is to not turn (the ball) over. They're the best in the country at doing that. I was proud of the way our guys played."
A Rose three-pointer and a free throw from Dorsey gave the Tigers a 10-point lead, but Tony Davis put in a layup in the final moments and the Knights trailed, 43-35, after 20 minutes of play.
UCF got to within seven points less than two minutes into the second half as Taylor nailed a jumper to make it a 49-42 game.
However, that was as close as the Knights got as the Tigers poured in the next 16 points, including three straight three-pointers. Dorsey's free throw capped the run for a 65-42 lead with under 13 minutes to play.
UCF was unable to cut significantly into its deficit as Memphis coasted for the rest of the game on the way to victory.
UCF plays at Rice next Saturday...Memphis hosts Houston on Wednesday...Memphis shot 45 percent while UCF connected on 38.5 percent of its shots...The Tigers have won all six matchups against the Knights.
02/09 19:52:30 ET