- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - Memphis didn’t need a record-setting performance from Roburt Sallie in this one.

Tyreke Evans scored 19 points and the Tigers shot a sizzling 70 percent in the first half, awakening from their first-round slumber and belting 10th-seeded Maryland 89-70 Saturday in the second round of the West Regional.

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 with all his teammates suddenly clicking along, just as they’d done during a 25-game winning streak leading up to the tournament, he was hardly needed.

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. Shawn Taggart had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Greivis Vasquez, Maryland’s mouthy junior guard, had insulted Memphis’ much-maligned Conference USA, saying the ACC was much tougher. But with about 5 minutes to go when Doneal Mack’s fifth 3-pointer made it 86-57, the large contingent of Memphis fans began chanting, “A-C-C, A-C-C, A-C-C!”

A few minutes earlier, Vasquez had drawn a technical foul for apparently saying something either to referees or to Memphis, but the Tigers mostly ignored him while holding him to 18 points, nine fewer than he had against California in the opening round.

As expected, the Terps tried both zone and man-to-man defenses. But nothing worked against a quicker Memphis offense that shot 59 percent for the game. After Cliff Tucker’s three-point play cut the lead to 36-24, Memphis on its next two possessions humiliated the press that had worked so well against Cal, the nation’s most accurate 3-point shooting team.

Evans whipped the ball down court and Mack drilled his second 3-pointer, then a moment later Robert Dozier took a bullet pass and dunked for a 41-26 lead against a Maryland team that had beaten then-No. 1 North Carolina on Jan. 19.

Next up for the Tigers will be the winner of Sunday’s Missouri-Marquette game.

Sallie, who hit a first-round record 10 3-pointers and scored a career-high 35 points against Northridge, got a huge ovation from the Memphis fans when he made two free throws for a 79-57 lead and returned to the bench.

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

Mack, who starts ahead of Sallie, seemed bent on proving he deserved it. The 6-5 junior, who was 0-for-7 on Thursday, drilled three 3-pointers in a row as the Tigers turned a 36-24 lead into a commanding 47-26 bulge. He and Robert Dozier each had 17 points in the runaway win while Sallie had 13, boosting his two-game total to 48.

Everything Maryland tried in the second half failed against Memphis, which looked much quicker and more energetic. Dozier’s two free throws gave the Tigers a 83-57 lead and then Mack canned another 3-pointer for a 29-point lead.

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