DALLAS (AP) -- Andre Allen isn't the Memphis player opposing
teams consider a serious threat. He's a 5-foot-10 guard who comes
off the bench and doesn't make a lot of shots, especially from long
In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Allen had quite a
2½-minute spurt late in the first half, providing the spark the
top-seeded Tigers needed to finally push ahead of feisty Oral
Roberts en route to a 94-78 victory Friday.
"There's a star born in all of these games and today it seemed
to be Andre Allen," Memphis coach John Calipari said.
Allen matched his season high, scoring all 11 of his points with
three 3-pointers in that quick burst after Oral Roberts took a
33-29 lead. He had made 15 3s all season, with only three the
previous 16 games, two of them coming in the same game a month ago.
"We thought he was a driver mostly," Oral Roberts' Ken Tutt
said. "He stepped up and hit the shots. We didn't adjust early
Oral Roberts (21-12) still led by a point before Allen hit a
3-pointer from the left side. After a miss by the Golden Eagles,
Allen hit a long-range shot from the right side, and added another
3 with 2:58 left to put the Tigers up 44-35.
"My job is usually to help the team by playing defense and
leading the club," Allen said. "But they were giving me shots, so
I had to take them. We all have the green light if we're open."
Conference USA player of the year Rodney Carney had 19 points to
lead five players in double figures for Memphis (31-3), which
played its first game as a No. 1 seed. The Tigers tied a team
record for wins, matching the 1984-85 team that went to the Final
Even though Memphis entered the NCAA Tournament as the only team
other than Duke with 30 wins, some thought the Tigers might be the
first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed.
The young Tigers -- Carney is the only regular player who isn't a
freshman or sophomore -- played in Conference USA, which sent only
one other team to the NCAA Tournament. Plus, Oral Roberts featured
two-time Mid Continent player of the year Caleb Green in a lineup
filled with upperclassmen.
The Tigers certainly seemed vulnerable when Tutt's ally-oop pass
was tipped in by Larry Owens to put Oral Roberts up 33-29 with 5:39
left before halftime.
But Allen helped turn things around in a hurry, and keyed a 20-2
run with his layup after Carney made a free throw.
Green then made two free throws with 4:36 left to put Oral
Roberts in front 35-34, its last lead before the three 3s by Allen.
"They were backing off on Andre and he was knocking 'em down.
Our depth is great. We've got guys who can step up," Darius
Washington said. "People have no choice now but to jump on the
The Tigers play Bucknell in the second round of the Oakland
Regional on Sunday. The Bison beat Arkansas 59-55 earlier Friday.
Oral Roberts is out after its first NCAA appearance since 1984,
also a first-round loss against the Tigers.
Shawne Williams and Washington had 14 points each for Memphis,
and Antonio Anderson had 10. The Tigers shot 60 percent from the
field (37-of-61) and matched a season high with 11 3-pointers, the
last Carney's with 9:22 left that made it 78-63.
"If they continue to shoot the ball the way they did, they'll
go a long way in this tournament," coach Scott Sutton said. "We
needed them to have an off night. They didn't."
Green had 19 points to lead five players in double figures for
Oral Roberts, which shot 53 percent (28-of-53) even after missing
six of its last nine shots. Owens had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Tutt and Jonathan Bluitt scored 11 points each and Chris Riouse 10.
Chris Douglas-Roberts' nifty underhand shot with 1:16 left
pushed Memphis ahead 49-35 before Mickey Michalec had a short
jumper to end Oral Roberts' worst slump of the game -- a 4½-minute
stretch with five straight missed shots and three turnovers.
Green made a tough shot to start the second half and get the
Golden Eagles within 51-41, but they couldn't gain any more ground
even missing only one of their first eight shots. They were still
down 65-55 when Owens was called for goaltending to wipe out an
"Every game, you've got to focus. We watch games and see the
intensity," Carney said. "We've seen upsets. Having the extra day
to watch, that prepared us better for what we had to go through. We
prepared and came away with a great win."