Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tiller leads Missouri past Memphis 102-91 in West

Missouri's DeMarre Carroll gets the ball and a bloodied lip as his slides under Memphis' Robert Dozier during the second half of a men's NCAA college basketball tournament regional semifinal in Glendale, Ariz., Thursday, March 26, 2009.

Missouri's DeMarre Carroll gets the ball and a bloodied lip as his slides under Memphis' Robert Dozier during the second half of a men's NCAA college basketball tournament regional semifinal in Glendale, Ariz., Thursday, March 26, 2009.



2009 Bracket Challenge

Get yer bracket on! Browse all brackets, check out out staff brackets, and check to see how your bracket's holding up after each match up is complete.

— A career night by J.T. Tiller put Missouri one win away from its first trip to the Final Four. Memphis' 27-game winning streak, meanwhile, is history.

Tiller scored a career-high 23 points — 15 more than his season average — and Missouri held off Memphis' frantic rally for a 102-91 win Thursday night in the semifinals of the West Regional.

Third-seeded Missouri led by 24 points four minutes into the second half, then saw Memphis close within six with 2:14 to play. Mizzou put it away from the foul line.

Missouri (31-6) advanced to play top-seeded Connecticut for the West title on Saturday.

"We came out and kind of took the fight to Memphis early on, and before you know it, our guys had a little confidence," Missouri coach Mike Anderson said.

Dynamic point guard Tyreke Evans scored 33 for second-seeded Memphis (33-4). The Tigers shot only 18-for-32 from the foul line — last year, a poor showing at the foul line cost them dearly in an overtime championship game loss to Kansas.

Missouri freshman Marcus Denman had the game's' most jaw-dropping basket, a swish from three-quarters court at the halftime buzzer for a 13-point lead.

Tiller, the co-defensive player of the year in the Big 12, made 10-of-16 shots and had three steals. All five Missouri starters reached double figures. DeMarre Carroll scored 17 and Leo Lyons had 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Lyons was 11-for-18 from the foul line but made four straight in the final 1½ minutes. In all, a whopping 77 free throws were taken, with Missouri making 30 of 45.

Robert Dozier had 19 points and 16 rebounds in Memphis' first loss since a Dec. 20 setback against Syracuse. Antonio Anderson scored 18 in his last game for Memphis.

Missouri is among the last eight teams left in the NCAA tournament in just its third season under Anderson, a Nolan Richardson disciple who coached the last Conference USA team to beat John Calipari's Memphis team — that was for UAB 62 games ago.

This was Tigers vs. Tigers in a matchup not only of nicknames but in-your-face, high-energy styles.

"We kind of got punched in the mouth right from the beginning of the game," Calipari said. "They broke us down defensively like we break people down. They beat us at our own game."

Missouri overwhelmed Memphis with a 27-7 run that spanned the final four minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second.

Matt Lawrence's third 3-pointer of the night — in four attempts — put Missouri ahead 64-40 with 16 minutes to play.

In its fourth straight regional semifinal appearance, Memphis finally turned up the pressure to force a series of turnovers that got the Conference USA champs back in the game.

Shawn Taggart's rebound dunk cut it to 89-83 with 2:14 left, but Zaire Taylor sank two free throws to boost the lead to 91-83. Lyons made two free throws with 1:30 left, then two more with 1:21 to go and it was 95-85.

Lawrence had started it all for Missouri with a 3-pointer that ignited an 11-1 run. The Tigers took a 37-29 lead on Tiller's inside basket with 5:39 left in the half.

After one of many driving layups by the freshman Evans cut it to 37-33, Missouri outscored Memphis 12-3 the rest of the half. Calipari aided the spurt with a technical foul. That resulted in one of two free throws by Lawrence, then another inside basket by Tiller.

Denman banked in a long shot with 21.2 seconds left, and the officials stopped play to study the video before deciding it was a 2-pointer. There certainly was no question on his next shot. After Taggart's dunk for Memphis with just under four to seconds to go, Missouri got the ball to Denman, who let fly with defenders around him, a shot that hit nothing but the net as the horn blared.


Jfanallways 13 years, 4 months ago

yay big 12! boo misery! now we have to win. we can't allow misery to go father than us in the tourney if that happens the world will plunge into chaos and everything will be destroyed! oh and yay mike anderson! boo misery players and fans!

funkitect 13 years, 4 months ago


i watched the entire game last night and found myself heavily rooting for the tigers... the missouri tigers that is. it was a pretty exciting game, except for the fact that a foul was called about every 15 seconds and no one on either team could make a free throw, (with exception of tyreke evans and that missouri finally started making a few at the end).

i find myself obligated to root for any big 12 team in the ncaa tourney - we've got to earn some respect for ourselves since the east coast-biased media seemingly bends over backward to push the big 12 down.

though, i've been going back and forth on whether i would continue rooting for missouri if KU loses before them... don't know if i could put up with the ridiculous taunting from the ridiculous MU fans. i'll definitely cheer on OU all the way (especially tonight against syracuse - i live in NY and i can't stand anything about that team or their fans).

bradh 13 years, 4 months ago

I'm guessing that Memphis won't want to play any more Big 12 teams.

JS82 13 years, 4 months ago

As a college basketball fan that was a fun game. I wanted to see both teams lose but because I don't like Calipari and I want the the Big 12 to do well I was rooting for Missouri.

Let's go Jayhawks and meet MU in the Final Four with OU on the other side and we can thumb our noses at the national pundits who can only talk about the Big East or the ACC.

And by the way Duke lost too! That was excellent!

Martin Rosenblum 13 years, 4 months ago

Memphis is Mike Anderson's Bia#ch!!

He is the only CUSA coach that has ever won a conference game (while he coached UAB) against Calipari and Memphis and now beat them in the Big Dance! Today and today only, he's got my respect.

jayhawkboogeyman 13 years, 4 months ago

The second half of that game was brutal. MU got that huge lead, had it all but won, then stopped defending the lane, and suddenly it was a manageable deficit with about 8 minutes. Then every single possession almost resulted in a foul, and both teams would make 1 or 0 of two and the margin would go from 6 to 8 to 7 to 8 to 6 to 8 to 7....... it was brutal to watch. I doubt either team would have a chance at UConn after that game last night, and if Memphis could make some free throws, Missouri would have blown that big lead......Doesn't that sound familiar - Memphis chokes away a chance at a big win because their coach only believes in recruiting one and done thugs who CAN'T shoot free throws...

knayte 13 years, 4 months ago

Glad to see I'm not the only one conflicted about rooting for Missouri, at least a little. I think the rivalry is much more fun when both sides have excellent teams. And at least they have a coach with some integrity now. You can't help but respect the guy, and how the team plays for him.

rockbrooklynchalk 13 years, 4 months ago


Where is bentleytiger now? Wherever you are, how are you feeling about your "memphis beats missouri by 15" guarantee?

Come back and talk when your team stops playing 20 joke conference games a year.

d_prowess 13 years, 4 months ago

I was OK with Missouri winning, but I definitely don't want them in the Final Four. There has just been something very satisfying about having them never have a banner for that!

Tony Bandle 13 years, 4 months ago

HOT RUMOR!!!!!!!!

Billy G is going to get fired at Kentuck and Calamari is going to be offered the job, take it and take his #1, #2 and #3 with him. [ I guess the only chance Xavier will get to play with C.J. is on their dad's driveway!!!].

Anderson having his two best players and his son graduate takes the Alabama job.

Meanwhile, Billy G comes back to the Big 12 at our hated rival school to torment Bill, however, Sherron and Cole stay, Lance arrives, KU goes undefeated, wins another NC in 2010,

HCBS gets offered the Oklahoma City Thunder job at a zillion dollars a year, takes it and leaves KU in the more than capable hands of Mr. Daniel Manning!!!!

If any of this actually happens, I think my head will explode!!!!!

rolo2383 13 years, 4 months ago

As long as I'm breathing I'll never wish for an MU victory. They've never made it past the elite 8 so they better lose tomorrow.

NewtonJayhawker 13 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Scott Wood 13 years, 4 months ago

Where is that idiot ignorant Memphis fan at?? Memphis got exposed as a complete fraud last night. It is easy to defend JV teams in their conference, however, when you play a team with equal talent you get embarrased, and blown off the court. How in the hell can one team be so bad at shooting free throws. My 4 year old nephew shoots better than them. It just goes to show you can't grab a bunch of "me" first thugs off the street and win the NC.

Let's go kick some butt tonight Hawks!!!

BCRavenJHawkfan 13 years, 4 months ago

Oh Bentley, oh Bentley.... Are you out there Bentley?

Welcome to the NCAA MemPuss Tigers. Let's see that makes a two year record of the YMCA league vs Big XII - YMCA-0-wins, Big XII-2-wins.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.