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Memphis remains unbeaten, extends double-digit wins to six

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis forward Shawn Taggart scored a career-high 17 points in 20 minutes on the court and grabbed four rebounds. Still, he drew the biggest ovation of the night by hitting the floor.

Midway through the second half, the 6-foot-10 sophomore transfer from Iowa State got both his steals. He dove for a couple of loose balls and hustled on defense, bringing the crowd to its feet during the third-ranked Tigers' 104-82 victory over Austin Peay on Tuesday night.

Taggart's effort and the crowd's response even brought accolades from Memphis coach John Calipari, who has been less than pleased with his team's performance and intensity in the last week.

Of course, Taggart caught Calipari's wrath earlier in the game when the coach saw him jogging down the court and took him out.

"If he dives on the floor and goes after balls like that, everybody in the city of Memphis is going to be happy," Calipari said. "If he plays like that, it's scary how good he can be."

Freshman guard Derrick Rose had 19 points and 12 assists to offset his worst performance of the season a week before, when he scored only four points against Arkansas State. This time, he went 6-of-8 from the field as Memphis (6-0) shot 64 percent overall and built the lead to 23 early in the second half.

"I'm getting to know the offense a little more and I'm finding open guys," Rose said. "That's what Coach told me to do -- find open guys and attack."

Chris Douglas-Roberts led Memphis with 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting, and Joey Dorsey was one of three Tigers with 10 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Taggart made eight of his 10 shots and said the performance indicates what he and Dorsey can do inside. That strength wasn't evident in the Tigers' last game when Memphis beat Arkansas State by 21, and Calipari was so upset he canceled players' trips home for Thanksgiving, held individual meetings with the squad and brought in a sport psychologist.

"We worked hard on that all week in practice," Taggart said about the inside game. "That's our power offense. Going out there and jamming it inside, especially in the zone because we know we are big enough and athletic enough to shoot over guys and dunk the ball."

Drake Reed led the Governors (2-4) with 21 points, missing only one of his nine shots. Todd Babington finished with 18 points on 5-of-8 from the field, all from 3-point range. Wes Channels had 16 for Austin Peay and Kyle Duncan finished with 10 points, hitting all four of his shots from the field.

"When you lose by 22, it's difficult to find things to build on," Austin Peay coach Dave Loos said. "I thought we battled pretty good. They are really good. Actually, they are scary good and well-coached.

"I thought we battled them as best as we could, and, if you don't bring your 'A' game, they will embarrass you."

Memphis has won all its games by double digits. The Governors, who have lost two straight, never got the deficit under 16 in the final 17 minutes.

The Governors shot 54 percent for the game and 56 percent outside the arc. In the second half, Austin Peay connected on 8-of-11 from 3-point range. But the Governors were stymied by 21 turnovers that led to 31 Memphis points. Reed committed eight of those miscues.

"We shoot 60-something percent, and we win by 50 in a normal game," Calipari said. "We win by 20 now. That's how good [Austin Peay] played. They made shots and baskets. Now, they turned it over a little bit because they got tired, and that's why I kept pressing."

The Tigers also controlled the middle, outscoring Austin Peay 64-32 in the paint.

Austin Peay shot 50 percent in the first half and trailed 53-36 because Memphis connected on 21 of 31 attempts (68 percent).

Douglas-Roberts had 11 points in the first half. Reed scored 12.

Memphis opened the game by connecting on its first eight shots from the field to build a nine-point lead. Willie Kemp had two quick 3-pointers when he entered near the 15-minute mark.

The 17-point lead at the break was the Tigers' largest of the half. Austin Peay hit only two 3-pointers in the first half.

Memphis extended the cushion to 23 several times early in the second half against the Governors, the defending Ohio Valley Conference regular-season champs. They are the preseason pick to win the conference again this season.

"Thank goodness that there is nobody like Memphis in the Ohio Valley," Loos said. "I don't think we'll see anybody in our conference doing the same thing that [the Tigers] do."