Memphis vs Southern Miss

No. 8 Memphis 72, Southern Miss 47


HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Memphis coach John Calipari thinks he has the nation's best freshman -- again.

Fantastic first-year player Tyreke Evans scored 19 points, including nine straight during the clinching run, and seniors Antonio Anderson and Robert Dozier added 12 each on a milestone day to lead No. 8 Memphis to a 72-47 win over Southern Miss on Saturday.

"That's what he does," Dozier said of the 6-foot-6 point guard. "That's what we expect from him."

Just as Derrick Rose lifted a group of upperclassmen in search of a floor leader to an appearance in the national title game last year, Evans has this season's Tigers believing they can get back.

His personal 9-2 run early in the second half helped the Tigers (22-3, 10-0 Conference USA) to their 16th straight win and the team's three seniors to their 126th victory, tying the school record. They have seven regular season games and the postseason to extend that record. After that, Calipari's not sure what the Tigers will do.

"It's amazing," he said. "And how about this one -- both are going to graduate in May on time in four years. Both have 1,000 points, both have 500 rebounds. When we lose those two guys -- the guts of the team, the leadership -- it will be a sad day."

Memphis is getting the most out of their seniors while they're still around. The win over Southern Miss (13-11, 3-7) was the 52nd straight Conference USA victory and kept Tigers on the path to a third straight undefeated league campaign.

The Tigers haven't lost since Dec. 20, when they fell to then-No. 11 Syracuse. They have the second-longest winning streak in the nation, trailing No. 21 Utah State's 19-game stretch that was on the line later Saturday against Boise State.

The 47 points is the third lowest point total of the season by a Memphis opponent, but the game looked as if it would be closer when Southern Miss took a quick 32-31 lead out of the half. But Evans dashed the Golden Eagles' momentum, hitting consecutive 3s to push Memphis' lead to seven. Meanwhile, the Tigers held Southern Miss to a single field goal during a stretch of 7:25, and the resulting 21-5 run gave Memphis it's biggest lead at 52-37 with 11:49 left.

Evans scored 15 points in the second half and afterward attributed a slow start that included 0-for-4 from 3-point range to his decision to wear two sets of tights under his uniform to help protect groin and hip injuries. He slipped off a pair in the locker room and returned feeling fancy free.

"They were bothering me," Evans said. "I took them off and it was better. I felt more loose and I could jump higher on my shots."

The Golden Eagles got 15 points from Jeremy Wise and 12 from Courtney Beasley. Those players usually give the Tigers fits in Hattiesburg and the same was true Saturday until midway through the second half.

At that point, Memphis' trapping, pressing defense started to tire out Southern Miss, which relies on its starters for 90 percent of its points.

"If you watch them over the years, no one could really press Southern Miss because they get it up the middle of the court for layups," Calipari said. "We worked on that for two days -- that alone. What we did was basically wear them out because they don't have any subs right now."

Southern Miss has lost two players to injury, including its best frontcourt player, and another to eligibility issues, leaving coach Larry Eustachy with few options to improve his depth. Calipari said he felt Southern Miss would be a 20-game winner had Sai'Quon Stone not gone down.

But Eustachy wasn't buying the injury excuse after the team's fifth straight loss.

"Our team is where it's at right now because of me," he said. "I've been here five years and there is nobody to blame but for the results except myself. I'm the CEO of the company. It's disappointing, but I'm not discouraged."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Memphis #8 (22-3) «314172
Southern Miss (13-11)281947
MEM:Tyreke Evans 19 Pts
MEM:Shawn Taggart 11 Reb
MEM:Antonio Anderson 3 Ast
USM:J. Wise 15 Pts
USM:C. Beasley 6 Reb
USM:J. Wise 6 Ast

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Southern MissMemphis
J. Wise
T. Evans
Memphis Tigers
A. Anderson, G354-84-433112
T. Evans, G357-143-573319
D. Mack, G304-130-032310
R. Dozier, F272-38-1060312
S. Taggart, F252-24-411028
R. Sallie, G243-42-212111
W. Kemp, G120-50-02120
P. Henderson-Niles, F70-00-01000
C. McGrady, G30-00-00000
P. Laird, G20-00-00000
J. Robinson, GDid Not Play
C. Henry, GDid Not Play
M. Simpkins, FDid Not Play
W. Witherspoon, G-FDid Not Play
A. Garcia, FDid Not Play
Totals 22-4921-2534111572
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
J. Wise, G394-107-836315
R. Horton, G394-130-01038
C. Craft, G364-81-250010
C. Beasley, G355-132-360212
G. Lino, C160-30-03050
R. McCauley, G181-10-03042
A. Stephens, F150-00-01020
C. Smith, F20-00-00000
J. Barnes, GDid Not Play
B. Brewer, GDid Not Play
S. Stone, GDid Not Play
H. Wierson, GDid Not Play
B. Cooks, FDid Not Play
A. Jackson, FDid Not Play
J. Clyburn, GDid Not Play
Totals 18-4810-132261947
Conference USA
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
La. Tech0-05-011
Middle Tenn.0-04-130
Old Dominion0-04-119
So. Miss0-02-1203
UT-San Antonio0-03-2152
Western Ky.0-03-2100
North Texas0-03-3276
Other games
UConn 62 Final
GTOWN 94 Final
Syracuse 98
UCLA 72 Final
Arizona 84
Nebraska 47 Final
Missouri 70
TXTCH 74 Final
Oklahoma 95
Kansas 85 Final
K-State 74
FORD 53 Final
XAV 88
Purdue 49 Final
Iowa 45
Cincinnati 69 Final
Florida St 63 Final
Wake 86
St John's 59 Final
MU 73
Ohio St 50 Final
Wisc 55
Utah St 56 Final
Boise St 66
GONZ 78 Final
San Fran 73