Chris Lofton battles with Memphis' Shawne Williams for a loose ball.
Jan. 18, 2006
Memphis, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee did everything it could to stay with No. 4 Memphis. The Volunteers did for about 33 minutes.
Shawne Williams had 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Rodney Carney added 22 points for the Tigers in an 88-79 victory Wednesday night.
The game was tied with 6:45 remaining, but Memphis had a double-digit lead less than 3 minutes later.
"We ran out of gas a little bit at the end, but Memphis executed down the stretch better than we did," Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said.
Carney was 8-of-17 from the field, while Williams was 8-of-16 and had four blocks.
"Rodney Carney is a great player, and we lost him a bunch of times, and that was the key," Pearl said.
Darius Washington added 17 points and five assists, while Chris Douglas-Roberts finished with 11 points for Tigers (16-2), who won their fifth straight.
Dane Bradshaw led the Volunteers (11-3) with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five steals and was 9-of-13 from the field. Chris Lofton finished with 16 points for the Vols, while C.J. Watson scored 14 on 2-of-10 shooting. Major Wingate and Stanley Asumnu each scored 11.
"That was a high-level basketball game," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "My hat is off to Tennessee. They played exactly like they needed to play. They are executing how they want to play. They got it inside when they needed to get a couple of baskets."
The cross-state rivalry was filled with intensity from the opening tap. There was trash-talking, stiff defense, flying elbows and a frenzied back-and-forth pace. At one point, Bradshaw was treated for a shot to the face.
"My face is OK," Bradshaw said. "I looked like a boxer sitting over there, but in that type of intensity, it felt fine once I got a charge called for me."
Both Calipari and Pearl were pleading their case to officials throughout, adding to the atmosphere. The crowd, mostly in Memphis blue with a sprinkle of UT orange, was on its feet most of the game.
Through it all, Tennessee stayed within striking distance, somewhat because Memphis failed to finish inside several times.
With 6:45 left, it was tied at 69, but Memphis went on a 10-0 run over the next 2:30.
Williams had seven points in the stretch that gave the Tigers their biggest lead of the game, 79-69, when he scored inside and converted the ensuing foul shot.
The Vols cut it to 80-74 on four straight points by Bradshaw, but could get no closer, losing their second straight.
"We rebounded the ball, and we made shots finally. That was the key point to the game," Carney said. "We weren't rebounding in the first half. No offensive rebounds, nothing.
"We locked down on the defensive end (after the half), and we came out with a nice little lead and put them away in the second."
Tennessee scored the final six points of the half to take a 45-41 lead.
There were five ties and 12 lead changes in the game.
"We're disappointed we didn't win the basketball game," Pearl said. "We're not happy having given them a game. You can talk about where they are ranked and how good they are, so I like our attitude.
"... The one thing about playing (Memphis) is, who are we going to play next that's going to be any more talented and deeper?"