KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- It went down to the final seconds, as
one would expect when two undefeated and highly ranked teams meet.
held off Memphis (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) 75-71 Tuesday night in the semifinals of
the Guardians Classic.
"You've got to give Iowa credit," Memphis coach John Calipari
said. "That was a war out there. I'm exhausted. It was
hand-to-hand combat. It was a hard-fought game. They made the plays
and we didn't."
Iowa (4-0) will meet the winner of the Missouri-Alabama game in
the championship game Wednesday night.
Iowa coach Steve Alford echoed Calipari's sentiments.
"This was a war," Alford said. "For the most part we led from
start to finish. We won against a tremendous team. This prepares us
for Big 10 play."
Memphis freshman Dajuan Wagner, who was the high school player
of the year last season, scored 26 points, but missed three shots
in the final two minutes and got into foul trouble.
"I don't think he got any help," Calipari said.
Recker, who scored in double figures for the fourth straight
game, made two free throws with 34 seconds left to give the
Hawkeyes a 72-67 advantage.
The Tigers cut the lead to 73-71 on a drive by Anthony Rice with
four seconds left, but two free throws by Glen Worley, who finished
with 10 points, with 3.1 seconds left clinched the victory.
Evans, who led the country with 22 double-doubles last season,
topped all rebounders with 15, including six offensive boards.
"He's a warrior on the backboards," Recker said. "He's the
best rebounder I've played with."
Wagner missed 10 of 18 shots from the field, committed four
turnovers and had no assists. He also got into foul trouble in the
second half, picking up his fourth foul with 7:29 left and going to
the bench for more than three minutes.
Tigers starting forwards Scooter McGadgon and Kelly Wise
combined to make only three of 21 shots. Rice and Antonio Burks each
scored 10 points for Memphis.
Memphis dropped to 0-8 in semifinal games of tournaments
involving more than four teams.
Memphis went 4:34 without a basket midway through the first
half, allowing Iowa to go on an 8-0 spurt to seize a 24-16 lead
with 7:48 left.
A 3-pointer by Worley gave Iowa a 36-30 advantage at halftime.