NCAA March Madness: Memphis avoids first round upset with win over Cal St. Northridge

March 20, 2009 06:37
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Cal St. Northridge gave college basketball fans across the world thrills for over 30 minutes in the second game to tip off in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, but defending runner up Memphis got a record-setting performance from reserve guard Roburt Sallie as it dominated the final 10 minutes to advance to the second round with an 81-70 victory. The no. 15 seeded Matadors had the Sprint Center rocking with a 62-56 lead at the midway point of the second half, as everyone began to smell an upset. However, Memphis coach John Calipari used a timeout to recharge his troops and they responded with a 14-2 run to take control. Northridge's Kenny Daniels made a layup with two-and-a-half minutes remaining to cut the deficit to 72-68, only to see Sallie fire in back-to-back threes that iced the game. Sallie, who nearly tripled his previous career high of 13 points, set team records for most points scored in an NCAA Tournament game with 35 and Memphis's all-time single-game three-pointer record with ten to lead the Tigers. Tyreke Evans added 15 points and Antonio Anderson had 13 points and nine assists for the winners. Rodrigue Mels scored 15 and Daniels and Tremaine Townsend had 14 each in defeat for Northridge, making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001. In a fitting end to a spirited game, Northridge coach Bobby Brasswell substituted out all of his top players with 11.2 seconds remaining to a standing ovation from the crowd. Memphis, which won its 26th consecutive game, will next play on Saturday against the winner between Maryland and California-Berkeley, which ended after press time. Also Thursday it was: LSU 75, Butler 71; Texas A+M 79, BYU 66; N. Iowa 56, Purdue 61.

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