Dozier leads No. 8 Memphis past Tulsa, 63-37
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Jerome Jordan nearly led Tulsa to an upset over Memphis at home last month. The eighth-ranked Tigers focused on shutting him down this time and stifled the Golden Hurricane.
Robert Dozier scored a career-high 23 points, Tyreke Evans added 13 and Memphis routed Tulsa 63-37 Wednesday night for its 15th straight victory. The Tigers (21-3, 9-0 Conference USA) also won their 51st straight in league play.
Jordan, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds in the last meeting, was held to a team-high eight points and three rebounds for Tulsa (17-8, 7-3).
The Tigers sent an extra defender to double-team Jordan when he received the ball in the low post and the strategy worked. Jordan committed six turnovers as the Golden Hurricane were held to their lowest point total in 57 years.
“It was working for us, (Jordan) got frustrated,” Dozier said. “And he started to force things. How could he not be frustrated. He is is the prime scorer on their team.”
Jordan entered the game averaging 16.6 points and 9.8 rebounds in his previous 16 outings, but never was a factor. Ben Uzoh, Tulsa’s leading scorer at 14.9 points per game, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with three points.
“What we did was we used a couple of schemes they hadn’t seen us use before,” Tigers coach John Calipari said. “I think that kind of rocked them a little bit.”
As successful as the strategy was, Calipari said he used it as much for Jordan as for opponents featuring similar size in next month’s NCAA tournament.
“It’s amazing because we only (practiced) it for two days,” Calipari said. “We spent only two days on it and they did a great job.”
Calipari said Shawn Taggart’s defensive effort in this meeting was especially effective against Jordan. Taggart routinely fought hard on both ends of the floor and finished with a game-high eight rebounds.
“I had to get some (respect) back,” Taggart said. “He destroyed me the first time.”
The Tigers limited Tulsa 36 percent shooting, including 25 percent in the first half. Memphis also forced 24 turnovers.
Ahead by 13 at the half, the Tigers extended their lead to 22 after scored on a driving layup with 14:07 left. The lead reached 23 points late in the game when reserve guard Willie Kemp connected on a 3-pointer with about 3 1/2 minutes to go.
Memphis shot 54.5 percent in the second half to pull away. In the first game against the Golden Hurricane, the Tigers needed a last-second layup by Antonio Anderson to escape.
“At the 13-minute mark in the first half we were tied at 6-6 (and) we were pretty pleased with the tempo of the game,” Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik said. “Then the wheels fell off. We have to do a better job taking care of the ball.”
Memphis struggled in the first half missing 14 of its first 20 shots. But in the final 6 minutes of the opening half, the Tigers put together an 11-2 run to take at 28-15 halftime lead.
During the run, the Tigers got a layup from Evans, a 3-pointer from Dozier and three-point plays from Evans and Anderson. Tulsa failed to make a field goal in the final 6:24 of the first half and its only points in that stretch came on two free throws by Jordan.
Tulsa outrebounded the Tigers by 18 in the teams’ first meeting, but by only three (29-26) Wednesday.