Sunday, March 22, 2009

MOUTHY MARYLAND NO MATCH FOR CONFERENCE-CHALLENGED MEMPHIS

No. 2 MEMPHIS 89, No. 10 MARYLAND 70 – As if this season hadn’t been interesting enough, Greivis Vasquez decided it might be fun to poke the Tiger – the Memphis Tiger that is. Vasquez, said that Conference USA was sub-par, and the Tigers wouldn’t have a winning record in the much tougher ACC.

"They proved me wrong. That's what the sport is about," Vasquez said.

With that as a backdrop, and bouncing back from a first-round malaise that might have sunk them if not for Roburt Sallie's record-setting shooting, Memphis hit a sizzling 70 percent in the first half to put this game away early. Saturday and rolled past Maryland 89-70 in the second round of the West Regional.

All of a sudden the Tigers looked and felt like the team that rode a 25-game winning streak into the tournament they nearly won a year ago.

Sallie, the surprise hero of Thursday's hard-fought victory over No. 15 seed Cal State Northridge, came off the bench and kept up his 3-point onslaught by hitting his first three, making him 13-for-19 for the tourney.

But in the meantime, Tyreke Evans(#12) scored 19 points and was one of five Tigers with at least 13.

The second-seeded Tigers (33-3) knocked the Terps (21-14) on the ropes with a 9-0 run in the opening minutes and led by as many as 23 while mounting a 53-33 halftime lead.

Vasquez had 18 points, Adrian Bowie had 11 points for Maryland and Eric Hayes had 10.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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