First Night Brings Excitement

By Josh Herwitt - November 05, 2007

The 2007-08 season kicked off with two games in the Memphis Region of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic Monday night, and third-ranked Memphis showed in its season opener why many people are picking the Tigers to cut down the nets in San Antonio this spring.

After staying close in the early going with last year's Conference USA champion, Tennessee-Martin couldn't keep pace with Memphis as the Tigers ran away with a 102-71 victory at the FedEx Forum.

Freshman sensation Derrick Rose proved to be the catalyst for John Calipari's squad in his first collegiate game of his career, slashing his way to the basket and finding his teammates wide open at times for easy assists.

The Chicago native finished with 17 points, hitting 8-of-16 shots from the field, and five assists, while preseason All-American Chris Douglas-Roberts tallied a team-high 28 points on 9-of-16 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. Robert Dozier added 10 points and 10 rebounds to go along with a pair of steals and assists.

The Skyhawks, who trailed 49-36 at halftime, were led by junior JUCO transfer and Memphis native Lester Hudson, who finished with a game-high 35 points after lighting up from outside by making 7-of-13 three-pointers. Hudson was also the only Tennessee-Martin player to score in double figures.

Meanwhile, in the first game of the doubleheader, Atlantic 10 representative Richmond squeaked out a 44-42 victory over Maine at the FedEx Forum.

Mark Socoby led the way for the Black Bears with a double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds) and almost won the game for Maine when his half-court shot at the final buzzer rattled around the rim and came out.

Sophomore guard David Gonzalvez paced Richmond with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in 35 minutes of action.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 08:14 PM on November 05, 2007

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