MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Memphis started a bit slow, then avoided a letdown by kicking it into an extra gear.
The fourth-ranked Tigers, coming off an 83-72 victory over No. 8 Gonzaga and with No. 15 Texas looming on Monday, used 16 points, a career high, and 13 rebounds from Joey Dorsey on Friday night to beat Purdue 90-70.
“We’re not looking past any game,” said Memphis guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, who scored 16 points. “We took Purdue seriously. We take all our opponents seriously. That’s how teams get upset when they don’t take another opponent seriously.”
Dorsey was 6-of-10 from the field and seven of his rebounds were on the offensive end. He had three blocked shots.
“I was happy for Joey,” Memphis coach John Calipari said of the 6-foot-9 sophomore. “One of the things we had talked about was getting him more looks. He stepped up and we did that.”
Shawne Williams finished with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-5 on 3-pointers, and Robert Dozier had 11 points for the Tigers (11-1), whose only loss is to No. 1 Duke.
Matt Kiefer, Chris Lutz and Marcus White each had 13 points for the Boilermakers (6-5), who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
A 13-3 run gave the Tigers a 27-17 lead. Two dunks by Rodney Carney highlighted the run.
The Boilermakers got within 27-24 when Matt Carroll connected on a three-point play with 3:26 remaining in the half. But Memphis, using its pressure defense to cause backcourt turnovers, closed the half with an 18-2 run for a 45-26 lead.
Douglas-Roberts had 10 points in the half, going 4-of-5 from the field. Purdue had 17 turnovers in the half and shot 35 percent.
“We were able to create turnovers and do that to create a gap,” Calipari said. “There will be other games that we won’t be able to do that.”
Purdue coach Matt Painter has said that with two key scorers—seniors Carl Landry and David Teague—out for the season with knee injuries, the Boilermakers will need to be more concerned with defense, trying to hold opponents to the high 70s and low 80s. He acknowledged that the Memphis press “made us hurry up a bit.”
“Their press got to us,” Kiefer said. “They do a good job of taking away things and getting us going fast as compared to taking our time in getting good shots the way we should. We don’t have the personnel to do that, and that showed tonight.”
Memphis, which shot 51 percent for the game, extended the lead to as many as 28 points in the second half. Even with a 12-2 run by the Boilermakers when the Tigers got sloppy with about 8 minutes left, Purdue never got closer than 16 points.
“I was happy with some of the spurts we had,” Calipari said. “I thought we did some good things defensively in the second half. There was just that breakdown around the 6- or 7-minute mark where we let them make some plays, and we stopped playing.”
The Boilermakers shot 50 percent in the second half and had only eight turnovers.
“We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball and being strong with it,” Painter said. “But I was pleased with our effort, and we are improving.”