Douglas-Roberts' late heroics saves Memphis' perfect mark

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Chris Douglas-Roberts and No. 1 Memphis made the shot that counted, then watched UAB hit the one that didn't.

The result was a down-to-the-wire scare and a still-perfect record.

Douglas-Roberts converted a three-point play with 6.5 seconds left and the Blazers' final basket was a split-second too late, giving the Tigers a 79-78 win Saturday night.

Memphis left with its 44-game regular-season and 34-game league winning streaks barely intact, and with Douglas-Roberts' main focal point: A win.

"The winning streak wasn't in my mind at all," said Douglas-Roberts, who scored 32 points. "It was just winning the game. That's all I was thinking about."

After Douglas-Roberts made his shot, the Blazers' Robert Vaden missed badly on an off-balance 3-point attempt and Lawrence Kinnard grabbed the long rebound. He heaved up a shot in the paint that went in, and officials promptly headed to the scorer's table to watch replays.

They ruled with only a brief double-check that Kinnard didn't get the shot off in time. He already knew it.

"When I got the rebound, I looked up and saw that the [shot clock] light was red," Kinnard said. "I was hoping and praying they might give it to us, but I knew it was too late."

It wasn't the last scary scene for Memphis players. Several had angry exchanges with UAB fans who rushed the court celebrating what they thought was a win. Then the Tigers (25-0, 11-0 Conference USA) were quickly herded to their locker room.

"They thought the shot had counted so they wanted to get on the court," said Memphis' Robert Dozier, who had eight rebounds. "They stormed on the court and they realized the time had expired and they got kind of mad. They started spitting at us and stuff. Guys got kind of heated. We got out of there."

UAB (17-8, 7-3) is the last CUSA team to beat Memphis, 715 days earlier.

Joey Dorsey, the league's top rebounder, had just one point and two rebounds. Antonio Anderson added 27 points and four 3-pointers for the Tigers. He and Douglas-Roberts combined to make 22 shots, the rest of the team just six.

The tune was the same at the end.

The Tigers missed nine consecutive shots before Anderson's 3-pointer from the corner cut the deficit 77-73 with 1:22 left. After a UAB miss, Douglas-Roberts drilled a 3 with 38 seconds remaining to trim the deficit to one point.

With 15 seconds left, Vaden then made one of two free throws to set up the final sequences. Douglas-Roberts spun and hit an 8-footer over Vaden, who fouled him.

"I got as deep as I could in the lane, made a spin move and just hit it off the glass," Douglas-Roberts said. "He was in my face, but I pretty much knew I could make the shot."

Vaden, who scored 27 points and hit four 3s, wasn't so sure.

"I felt he traveled," said Vaden, who missed the previous game with a groin injury. "I got off-balance, but I didn't think I touched him."

His coach wasn't interested in debating the officiating.

"We can't complain about calls," Mike Davis said. "If we did, I'd be 90 years old. Once it's over it's over and we can't get it back."

Memphis coach John Calipari said he had initially called for the ball to go to Derrick Rose, who was struggling to a 2-of-13, six-point performance. He said assistant coach John Robic suggested running the "pistol" play to Douglas-Roberts instead.

"We ran it to let Chris turn that corner with the middle pick and roll and he just kept going," Calipari said. "That's his game. He wants that basketball."

Douglas-Roberts knew Vaden would also want UAB's last shot.

"We double-teamed him at the end, and I didn't think he really wanted to pass the ball at the end of the game," he said. "I don't blame him with the type of game he had."

Memphis native Kinnard added 19 points and 11 boards for the Blazers, who shot 57 percent and made 20-of-22 free throws.

The Tigers tied Texas' 1913-17 teams for the eighth-best regular-season winning streak at 44 games. They did it in style, too.

"Anybody watching that, either here or on television, had to say what a great game that was," Calipari said. "Every team we play comes out with a special level of inspiration. The close games we've had we've held the other team to 36 or 37 percent shooting. UAB pretty much had its way with us offensively."

Memphis had hit just 3-of-12 free throws over the final 8:51 before Douglas-Roberts' make at the end.

The Tigers had trailed by two points at the half for the second straight game, and responded again.