Tigers Travel to Greenville to Face Pirates
For the second game of their season series, the University of Memphis men's basketball team is playing at East Carolina University in Minges Coliseum. The 16-3 Tigers already have a leg up on the 13-7 Pirates, after beating them 67-54 in FedExForum January 9.
In the teams' 14 Conference USA meetings, the Tigers have only lost once, but the Pirates high-powered offense will look to change that on Wednesday night.
Ranked 20th in the nation at 77.6 points per game, the Pirates will look to score early and often behind their leading scorer Maurice Kemp. The 6-8 forward is the second leading scorer in C-USA, making 49.4 percent of his shots and averaging 7.8 rebounds per game on 31.4 minutes a contest. Miguel Paul leads the Pirates with six assists per game, and as a whole, East Carolina ranks 7th in the nation with 17.5 assists per game.
The Pirates boasts a number of key upperclassmen, including Kemp and Paul, and forward Robert Sampson, who nearly averages a double double with 9.6 ppg and 9.2 rpg.
Coming off a narrow margin of victory against Marshall, the Tigers were exploited on the boards, getting out rebounded 39 to 33. Seventeen of Marshall's rebounds were offensive boards, a few of which were put-back dunks or tip-in layups. A main concern for the Tigers will be to keep ECU's 6-8 big man tandem of Sampson and Kemp off the glass to prevent easy buckets.
When they met in Jan., Memphis won the battle of the boards 41-23 and limited East Carolina to 19 points in the first half on 30 percent shooting from the field. The Pirates shot 2-5 from the three-point line, but heated up in the second half, shooting 7-16 from beyond the arc and outscoring the Tigers 35-28 in the second half. It will be important for the Tigers to maintain focus throughout the game as the Pirates look to win on their home court before their two game C-USA road trip.
A win Wednesday night would extend the Tigers winning streak to 11 games, a program high under head coach Josh Pastner. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT.
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