8:00 PM ET, February 16, 2008
Bartow Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Chris Douglas-Roberts and No. 1 Memphis made the shot that counted, then watched UAB hit the one that didn't.The result was a down-to-the-wire scare and a still-perfect record.Douglas-Roberts converted a three-point play with 6.5 seconds left and the Blazers' final basket was a split-second too late, giving the Tigers a 79-78 win Saturday night.Memphis left with its 44-game regular-season and 34-game league winning streaks barely intact, and with Douglas-Roberts' main focal point: A win."The winning streak wasn't in my mind at all," said Douglas-Roberts, who scored 32 points. "It was just winning the game. That's all I was thinking about."After Douglas-Roberts made his shot, the Blazers' Robert Vaden missed badly on an off-balance 3-point attempt and Lawrence Kinnard grabbed the long rebound. He heaved up a shot in the paint that went in, and officials promptly headed to the scorer's table to watch replays.They ruled with only a brief double-check that Kinnard didn't get the shot off in time. He already knew it."When I got the rebound, I looked up and saw that the [shot clock] light was red," Kinnard said. "I was hoping and praying they might give it to us, but I knew it was too late."It wasn't the last scary scene for Memphis players. Several had angry exchanges with UAB fans who rushed the court celebrating what they thought was a win. Then the Tigers (25-0, 11-0 Conference USA) were quickly herded to their locker room."They thought the shot had counted so they wanted to get on the court," said Memphis' Robert Dozier, who had eight rebounds. "They stormed on the court and they realized the time had expired and they got kind of mad. They started spitting at us and stuff. Guys got kind of heated. We got out of there."UAB (17-8, 7-3) is the last CUSA team to beat Memphis, 715 days earlier.Joey Dorsey, the league's top rebounder, had just one point and two rebounds. Antonio Anderson added 27 points and four 3-pointers for the Tigers. He and Douglas-Roberts combined to make 22 shots, the rest of the team just six.The tune was the same at the end.The Tigers missed nine consecutive shots before Anderson's 3-pointer from the corner cut the deficit 77-73 with 1:22 left. After a UAB miss, Douglas-Roberts drilled a 3 with 38 seconds remaining to trim the deficit to one point.With 15 seconds left, Vaden then made one of two free throws to set up the final sequences. Douglas-Roberts spun and hit an 8-footer over Vaden, who fouled him."I got as deep as I could in the lane, made a spin move and just hit it off the glass," Douglas-Roberts said. "He was in my face, but I pretty much knew I could make the shot."Vaden, who scored 27 points and hit four 3s, wasn't so sure.
Quest For Perfection
Memphis just escaped UAB to keep its perfect record intact. So much more was at stake, however. The Tigers racked up their 44th straight regular-season win, which is the fifth-longest such streak of the last 45 seasons.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||28-63 (.444)||26-51 (.510)|
|3P Made-Attempted||11-27 (.407)||6-16 (.375)|
|FT Made-Attempted||12-22 (.545)||20-22 (.909)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||18 (0/0)|