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Memphis-Cal St. Northridge: Behind Roburt Sallie's 35 Points, Tigers Advance

Tony BettackContributor IMarch 19, 2009

Cal State Northridge may have been a heavy underdog, but they played as if they were favored to win. With nothing to lose, they gave Memphis their best shot, putting three of the Tigers' starters on the bench with quick fouls early in the game.

The Matadors were hanging tough with the Tigers, staying within three at halftime with a 34-31 score.

Seventeen of those points came from Roburt Sallie.

After the break is when most people were thinking Memphis was going to take over the game, but still not getting production from the Tigers' starters kept the door open for the Matadors.

Unwilling to go away, the Matadors took over the lead with a 62-56 score with 10:02 remaining on the clock—a lead they would never regain.

Out of the timeout, Sallie knocked down a three-point jumper, followed by an Antonio Anderson two-point dunk to cut the lead down to one.

As the game progressed, it looked as if fatigue set in for Cal State, as it grew tougher and tougher to knock down the shots that previously went in.

Eventually Memphis' lead grew insurmountable, and it finished off the scrappy Matadors 81-70, thanks in large part to Roburt Sallie's 35-point performance.

Sallie, who merely averages four points a game, exploded in this one, going 10-for-15 from beyond the arc and shooting 12-for-17 field goals.

One might wonder what would have been if not Memphis had Roburt Sallie. Perhaps we may have seen for only the fifth time a No. 15 seed knock off a No. 2. One can only wonder.

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