As the Memphis Tigers (13-14, 4-9 American Athletic Conference) prepare for their final home game of the season, they know that it will be tough sledding. On Saturday, the University of Central Florida Knights (17-9, 6-5 AAC) will come to Elma Roane Fieldhouse to try to spoil their final home outing.
The Tigers have generally played well at home, with an 8-6 record in front of their home fans. Unfortunately, this month they have been 1-3 when playing in Memphis. To combat this, the Tigers will have to play some of their best basketball to beat the talented Knights’ team.
The last time that these two teams played was on January 25, where the Knights beat the Tigers, 82-66. Memphis’ third highest allowed point total of the season.
Now with an opportunity to get revenge, the Tigers look to get their revenge as well as get back on the winning side of things.
In the Tigers last game, they lost 68-47 to the University of South Florida this past Saturday. This was their second straight loss at home.
The Tigers’ biggest struggles came offensively where they were unable to get their shot to fall all game. They ended the contest shooting 22.2 percent from the field, including the fourth quarter where they made just one of their 14 shot attempts.
When they were not struggling to score, they also had a difficult time holding on to the ball, where they turned the ball over 20 times. Their defense did force 16 turnovers of their own, but they could not handle the Knights’ scoring.
USF started the game off shooting 57.14 percent from the field and though the Tigers managed to slow them down as they game went on, but they still could not match their production.
In the Knights’ last game, they defeated the Temple Owls 67-64 at home. This brought their home record to 13-1, one of the best records in the nation.
They were led by senior guard, Kay Kay Wright who led the team with 24 points on a 58 percent shooting night. She was the only player on the team to score double-digit points.
She helped Temple overcome a 32-30 halftime deficit and hold back Temple’s talented starting lineup.
Despite three out of the five starters for Temple scoring double-digits, the Owls struggled to get their shots falling for much of the game, shooting less than 40 percent from the field for the first three quarters.
It also helped that the Tigers did not turn the ball over much, only committing five turnovers compared to Temple’s 14.
The Knights got 19 of their points off of Owl turnovers.
With this game being another steep climb for the Tigers, it will take a lot of production from their limited roster, something that they have had to grow accustom to in the final couple of months of the season.
With the Knights being a familiar opponent, the Tigers should be able to take points from what they would done previously to try to pull out the upset victory.
The Knights are not a team that often shoots three pointers, so if the Tigers can get Madison Griggs shot going, they can get an early advantage with their long range shooting.