"Their size really bothered us," said Marshall coach Donnie Jones of the Tigers. "They wore us down physically."
The size factor came in the form of both Robert Dozier and Joey Dorsey for Memphis (15-0 overall, 2-0 C-USA). Each hit a double-double against The Herd (Dozier had 16 points, 12 rebounds; Dorsey scored 11 points and grabbed 12 boards). Add in phenom Derrick Rose's 19 points and you can see why Memphis is "too".
Markel Humphrey put up two of his 12 points over Memphis' Joey Dorsey (3) during the second half. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
But give Marshall (9-5 overall, 1-1 C-USA) credit where it is due. The Herd did battle back from an early 30-15 Memphis lead in the first half. The 12-4 Marshall run closed the gap to a respectable 34-27 Memphis lead at the half. Mark Dorris drained a three and two free throws during the run to spark The Herd.
Marshall shot 50% (9-of-18) in the first half, including 3-of-4 from three. The telling statistic involves free throw shooting: Marshall hit just 6-of-11 (54.5%).
"That was one of the most physical games we've played," said Memphis coach John Calipari of Marshall afterward. "Think about it: They scored in the paint on us. They fought like heck."
Pierre Marie Altidor Cespedes put up two of his four points over Memphis Shawn Taggart. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
The second half provided many pitfalls for Marshall, however, and Memphis wasted no time capitalizing on them. Memphis shot out on a 13-3 run to open the second half, and Derrick Rose led the way. His jumper with 12:33 left shot the Tigers out to a commanding 47-30 lead which Marshall had no answer for.
Marshall committed 19 turnovers in the game, which led directly to 19 Memphis points.
"We just didn't have any fight left at the end," summed up Marshall coach Donnie Jones. "Our guys gave all they had."
Memphis' Derrick Rose blew past Marshall's Jean Francois Bro Grebe for this basket in the first half. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
In the end, it was just too much for a bruised-up Marshall team to overcome, this Memphis team that is ranked #2 and is just "too" much of everything.
A packed house of 9,043 fans filled the Henderson Center to watch Marshall take on the #2-ranked Memphis Tigers on Saturday night. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
"We just didn't have any fight left at the end. Memphis had something to do with that," said Marshall coach Donnie Jones.
Marshall now readies for a road trip to play at East Carolina on Wednesday night.