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Memphis dodges upset bullet

Memphis dodges upset bullet

Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008 4:32 pm

MEMPHIS (AP) — Memphis survived a trap game, barely.
The 23rd-ranked Tigers lost on the road in overtime to nationally-ranked Georgetown last Saturday. They have No. 11 Syracuse coming in this weekend. They beat Arkansas-Little Rock 59-51 on Wednesday night, avoiding the upset trap.
“We just weren’t prepared,” said Robert Dozier, who led Memphis (6-2) with 15 points. “Guys came in during the warmups and the layup line, and you could kind of see it. Guys were just going through the motions or weren’t going hard. We just all around weren’t prepared. We played sloppy.”
UALR (7-3) got within five points on several occasions late, but Memphis was able to hold on down the stretch, despite not scoring from the field over the final 8:07.
“Guys are tentative,” Tigers coach John Calipari said. “They’re not confident enough that they can finish the play. Why? Because they just missed three layups.”
Both teams shot 33.3 percent from the field and Memphis was 3-of-20 from 3-point range.
“If we weren’t this good defensively,” Calipari said. “This would be scary.”
Shawn Taggart and Tyreke Evans both added 12 as No. 23 Memphis weathered the late rally to hold on for the victory over Arkansas-Little Rock on Wednesday night.
Dozier missed only one of his four shots from the field and was 9-of-12 from the line as the Tigers (6-2) rebounded from a 79-70 overtime loss at Georgetown on Saturday.
Memphis appeared to be in control, leading by 18 points with just under 10 minutes left. But a rally by the Trojans that included 3-pointers from Curtis Jackson, Matt Mouzy and Steven Moore cut the deficit to 51-45 with 2:26 left.
UALR (7-3) got within five points on several occasions late, but Memphis was able to hold on down the stretch, despite not scoring from the field over the final 8:07.
Both teams shot just 33.3 percent from the field and Memphis was 3-of-20 from 3-point range. Evans was 2-of-9 from the field, while Taggart was 3-of-11.
Meanwhile, UALR starting forwards Shane Edwards and Mike Smith were a combined 2-of-15 for the game.
The early part of the first half was sloppy with both teams shooting poorly and having trouble holding onto the ball. Memphis shot 32 percent in the half, and that was better than the Trojans, who were 8-of-29 (28 percent).
Memphis had six turnovers before the under-12 minute timeout.
They finished with 12 in the game, while the Trojans committed 17.

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