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January 4, 2007

No. 22 Memphis has no trouble with Bearcats

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -Senior Jeremy Hunt matched his career-high with 24 points, and freshman Willie Kemp added 21 to lead No. 22 Memphis to an 88-55 victory over Cincinnati on Thursday night.

Hunt and Kemp led an effective 3-point shooting attack for the Tigers (11-3). They were a combined 12-of-16 from beyond the arc as Memphis won its third straight.

Robert Dozier had 13 points for the Tigers, who scored the game's first 11 points and were up 31 at halftime. Memphis shot over 60 percent from the field for a good portion of the game and finished hitting 43 percent from 3-point range.

Cedric McGowan led Cincinnati (9-5) with 20 points, while John Williamson added 11.

The game was the Bearcats' first on an opponent's home floor as their other road games were on neutral courts.

Official Ted Hillary went off with 3:51 left in the first half after injuring his knee. He returned for the start of the second half and finished the game.

Memphis entered the game with an 8-0 record at home and no team had threatened to break the streak this season. All the wins were by double digits, and the average margin was 24.6 points. But those victories came against teams like Jackson State, Arkansas State, Lamar and Middle Tennessee.

Despite its tradition and Big East affiliation, Cincinnati quickly fell into the same category.

Memphis got out of the blocks quickly behind the 3-point shooting of Kemp and Hunt. They were a combined 9-of-11 outside the arc in the first half. Kemp led Memphis with 15 points while Hunt had 14 as the Tigers took a 54-23 halftime lead.

The early 3-point shooting contributed to Memphis connecting on 61 percent of its shots in the first half. The shooting also led to the Bearcats abandoning their zone defense after Hunt hit all four of his 3-pointers from the left wing near the 12-minute mark of the first half.

The 54 points matched Memphis' season-high in the first half.

McGowan had 11 points for the Bearcats, but despite hitting all of but one of his five first-half shots, Cincinnati shot 30 percent for the half. The Bearcats shot 38 percent for the game.

Memphis led by as many as 39 points.

For more coverage of Memphis, visit TigerSportsReport.com; for more on Cincinnati, visit BearcatLair.com.

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