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Calkins: Memphis calls shot, destroying the UCF, has a target for Houston others

The Houston Cougars just broke Connecticut and headed back to the changing room as they passed Memphis tigers in the hallway.

"They made a comment when they came to the locker room, we take it as a motivation," said Memphis guardian Antwann Jones. "They're like" That's what we do. "But they used it frightened."

Of course they used it.

This is a struggle that deserves trickery.

Memphis v. Houston. On national television. For the chance to play the American Athletic Conference.

How big is this bleeding?

"It's not about Houston, it's about us," said Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway. "We know what we are and understand what to do."

Which is something Hardaway couldn't say a few months ago, and the biggest withdrawal from Memphis 79-55 beat the UCF at FedExForum on Friday afternoon.

Tigers know who they are. They understand what to do. And they start playing with the toughness and speed of the team now in FedExForum 17-2 and only two wins from the NCAA tournament offer.

The Tigers called on a Friday strike on Thursday night.

"All we talked about was the better team and we fired them," said Jeremiah Martin.

Tyler Harris said, "Jeremiah said," Yeah, we'll throw them out. "He said the team can't match our intensity when we come to play."

Martin was right as it turned out. The UCF could not begin to match the tigers' intensity. And if you don't want me to say it, here's UCF coach Johnny Dawkins.

"We ran into the buzzer," he said. "They played with a sense of sense, with a sense of despair and showed. I look at the statistics and look at each area and overcome each of them. "

Rebounds: Memphis 41, UCF 30.

Offensive Reflections: Memphis 14, UCF 8.

Stealing: Memphis 9, UCF 6.

Turnover Points: Memphis 17, UCF 3.

Bench Points: Memphis 36, UCF 16.

Nor did it matter that Martin ended up with a modest 13 points. Not when Kyvon Davenport had another 16 and 11, not when Raynere Thornton was holding Aubrey Dawkins on 1 out of 10 out of the box and not when Isaiah Maurice scored 21 points to gain tremendous health. Mau-Rice! "From the crowd.

"Maurice the Beast!" It's what Harris called him, though this nickname is not always appropriate. But it was definitely Friday when Maurice tortured a 7-6 UCF center, Tacko Fall, dragging him away from the trash and raining 3-pointers down on his head.

So now it's at 11 Houston, which physically controlled Memphis in January 90-77.

What do tigers remember about the game?

"I just remember they kicked their asses," Jones said. "I'm sorry to beat us."

The first description is really useful. Houston took 21 shots more in this game than Memphis. It was as if Houston fans had spent a better part of the procedure when they shouted: "WHESE BALL?" COOGS BALL! "

"We just did a pre-game joke about it," Harris said. "We were like" Whose? Coogs ball! “We already knew we were going to take care of the UCF business. It was two months ago and we're still making jokes about it. "

Memphis Houston's players do not have much respect for them, not only because of their brief meeting with Houston players on Friday afternoon.

"We expect nothing to think about us," Martin said. "But we're a better team, another team."

It certainly looked like Friday. Saturday will be the final test.


"It's going to be a Tigers ball," Harris said.

We have to find out.

<img alt = "Geoff Calkins"src =" "/>

Geoff Calkins

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