Pirates Edged By No. 18 Tigers
Jan. 28, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Antonio Anderson scored a season-high 26 points to help No. 18 Memphis beat East Carolina 85-64 on Wednesday night.
Tyreke Evans added 18 points for the Tigers (17-3, 6-0 Conference USA), who won their 48th consecutive game against conference competition.
Robert Dozier scored 11 points for Memphis, which made its first seven shots from the field on the way to a 19-8 advantage 5 minutes into the game. The Tigers, who led 45-31 at halftime, maintained a lead of at least eight points throughout the second half.
Jamar Abrams scored 18 points to lead the Pirates (10-9, 2-4), who started the season 8-1. Sam Hinnant added 17 points for East Carolina, which suffered its 16th consecutive loss against ranked opponents.
The Tigers asserted themselves from the opening tip on their way to their 33rd consecutive win in the month of January. All five starters scored as Memphis hit its first seven shots, forcing East Carolina to abandon its man-to-man defense for zone.
A 3-pointer by Anderson gave the Tigers a 12-3 lead with 17:42 remaining in the first half, causing East Carolina coach Mack McCarthy to call a timeout. But the Pirates failed to cut into the lead, falling behind by 12 points on three occasions before Memphis took its biggest lead of the period at 32-17 on a breakaway dunk by Anderson with 8:24 left.
East Carolina trimmed the lead to 40-31 on a jumper by Brock Young with 2:01 left, but Memphis scored the final five points of the half.
Hinnant kept the Pirates in the game with four 3-pointers in the first 8 1/2 minutes of the second half, but Memphis gained separation with a 7-0 run to take a 62-47 lead with 11:55 to play.