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Memphis quickly shakes off letdown

MEMPHIS — The Tigers went to work early to get rid of the bitter taste from the end of their perfect season.

Willie Kemp scored 14 and keyed a first-half rally, leading No.  2 Memphis to an 82-67 victory over Tulsa on Wednesday night in the Tigers' first game since their only loss of the season.

It was a successful rebound from losing its No.  1 ranking to Tennessee 66-62 Saturday night. And the Tigers made sure they jumped out early against the Golden Hurricane.

"I feel like we are a good team, a championship team," said reserve Shawn Taggart, who had 12 points. "Every championship team, when they take a loss, they want to come out and prove a point and play hard. I feel like our bench showed we can score and we can produce on defense."

With three games left, Memphis is assured of at least a share of the Conference USA regular-season title for the third straight season.

Kemp was 5-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-7 from the 3-point range, as five Tigers scored in double figures.

"It helps our inside game a lot," Kemp said of his outside production. "If I'm making that shot, our big men are going to have a good game."

Coach John Calipari acknowledged some concerns entering the game, given the packed house for Saturday's loss, the emotion of the cross-state rivalry and the disappointment of the Tigers losing for the first time.

Those concerns were erased when Memphis went up 43-19 at halftime.

"I was really, really pleased," Calipari said. "To come off the game and the emotion that we came out of, and to hold (Tulsa to 19) points in the first half was tremendous. Of those, they got five in the first minute.

"It's good to win just to get that other thing out of your system."

NO.  6 KANSAS 75, IOWA ST. 64: Darrell Arthur had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush added 15 points each and the Jayhawks snapped a two-game road skid.

NO.  16 PURDUE 65, MINN. 53: E'Twaun Moore scored 22 for the host Boilermakers, who tied Wisconsin and Indiana for the Big Ten lead.

ACC

NO.  7 DUKE 71, GA. TECH 58: Gerald Henderson and DeMarcus Nelson scored 15 each for the Blue Devils, who improved to 15-0 at Cameron Indoor Stadium this season and tied North Carolina atop the conference.

CLEMSON 79, MIAMI 69: K.C. Rivers scored 19 as the host Tigers rallied after squandering a 21-point lead and guaranteed themselves a nonlosing ACC record for the first time in 11 years. The Hurricanes (19-8, 6-7) suffered a blow in their bid for the NCAA Tournament.

Big East

NO.  11 G'TOWN 64, ST. JOHN'S 52: DaJuan Summers made five 3-pointers and scored 21 for the host Hoyas, who moved a half-game ahead of Louisville for first place in the Big East.

PITT 73, UC 67: Sam Young had 20 points and DeJuan Blair 18 as the host Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak and reached 20 wins for the seventh straight season.

W.  VA. 85, DePAUL 73: Alex Ruoff scored 22 for the visiting Mountaineers, who had a 22-0 first-half run then held off a rally.

SEC

MISS. ST. 89, AUBURN 78: Charles Rhodes had a career-high 30 points and nine rebounds to lead the host Bulldogs to a share of the Western Division title for the second straight season.

KENTUCKY 58, OLE MISS 54: Joe Crawford and Patrick Patterson scored 15 each as the host Wildcats moved a game behind Eastern Division leader Tennessee.

LSU 62, S.C. 55: Anthony Randolph had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the visiting Tigers won two in a row for the first time since late November.

ALABAMA 59, ARK. 56: Demetrius Jemison scored a career-high 19, added 11 rebounds and made two free throws with 10 seconds left to lift the host Crimson Tide.

State

TAMPA 78, FLA. SO. 72: Chris Evans scored 21 to lead five players in double figures, and the visiting Spartans (17-7, 10-5 Sunshine State) rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit.

ECKERD 82, SAINT LEO 60: Damone Morris had 14 points to lead six players in double figures as the visiting Tritons (18-8, 10-5 SSC) swept the season series from the Lions (13-13, 6-9).

UCF 80, TULANE 63: Reserve Jermaine Taylor scored 15 of his 19 in the first half, and the host Knights (15-12, 8-5 C-USA) made 24 of 28 free throws.

Nation

PENN ST. 65, IOWA 64: D.J. Jackson completed a three-point play with just less than 20 seconds left to lift the host Nittany Lions to a comeback victory.

TEXAS A&M 98, TEXAS TECH 54: Dominique Kirk scored 16, including five 3-pointers, and the visiting Aggies snapped a three-game skid.

NEB. 63, OKLA. 45: Steve Harley scored 17, and the host Cornhuskers held the Sooners to their fewest points this season.

BAYLOR 68, COLO. 57: Kevin Rogers scored 24 and the Bears won in Boulder for the first time in nearly 57 years to reach 19 wins for the first time since 2000-01.

Memphis quickly shakes off letdown 02/28/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:01am]

    

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