Memphis Wins The 2006 Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship
March 11, 2006
Top-seed Memphis has won the 2006 Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship presented by Aeropostale and earned the school's first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament since the Tigers won the 1987 Metro Conference tournament. C-USA Freshman of the Year Shawne Williams led all scorers with 18 points in the Tigers 57-46 victory over UAB. He was named Tournament MVP after reaching double figures in all three tournament games.
Championship Game: Memphis 57, UAB 46
The Tigers (30-3), who also won the league's regular season title, led from the start by jumping to a 7-0 advantage. Memphis staged a 13-2 run for a 17-point lead, their largest of the game, with about 8 1/2 minutes to play. Rodeny Carney tipped in a Tiger miss to make the score 49-32.
Carney, the Tigers' leading scorer and the conference player of the year, managed only eight points, missing 11-of-14 shots, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range.
The Blazers (24-6) were led by Paul Delaney with 14 points.
Darius Washington had seven points for Memphis, hitting all three of his free throws.
Last year, Washington came up two short on three free throws last year as Memphis let Louisville escape with a victory in the conference championship. Washington, shooting after the final buzzer, crumpled to the floor at the end of that game, also in Memphis.
He left the court smiling this time.
A swarming Tiger defense held the Blazers to 27 percent shooting. Dorsey controlled the interior with two blocks to go with his 12 rebounds.
The Tigers shot only 33 percent, but were successful early from 3-point range.
Memphis led 32-22 at the half.
The Blazers missed their first 12 shots and failed to get a field goal until seven minutes into the game when Wen Mukubu scored on a layup.
Memphis, while shooting 32 percent for the half, hit six of its first 11 tries from 3-point range. Williams, who had 13 points for the half, was 3-of-5 from behind the arc, while Antonio Anderson hit on both of his 3-point attempts.
Rodney Carney, Memphis
MVP: Shawne Williams, Memphis
2006 CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
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