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Tigers to face off with Xavier Musketeers

bheater@dailyhelmsman.com

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 23:02

After another rise in the rankings from No. 21 to No. 19 in the Associated Press poll, the University of Memphis men’s basketball team looks to extend their winning streak to 19 games on the road against the Xavier Musketeers in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Tigers enter tonight’s match as the only team in NCAA Division I men’s basketball to have not lost a decision on the road (7-0). The Musketeers (15-11, 8-5 Atlantic 10) own a 9-3 record at the Cintas Center and are coming off a 75-71 loss at home to Virginia Commonwealth.

Xavier’s Semaj Christon (15.0 ppg) and Travis Taylor (11.6 ppg) are the only players on the team averaging double figures in points.

Taylor poses a tough task for Tiger big men Shaq Goodwin and Tarik Black, as he not only scores, but leads the team in rebounding at 8.6 rpg. He has helped the Musketeers out-rebound opponents by an average margin of +4.9 rpg.

Memphis has allowed opponents at their home court to shoot 27.2 percent from three-point range, a stat that bodes well against a Musketeer squad shooting just 34.7 percent from long range on the season. The top outside shooting threats for Xavier the Tigers will have to keep close tabs on are Brad Redford (43.9 percent) and Dee Davis (38.8 percent).

Recently, sophomore guard-forward Adonis Thomas has stepped up his game and given the Tigers another added dimension on the offensive end. The sophomore, as well as guards Joe Jackson and Geron Johnson, will have opportunities to drive against a Musketeer defense that is forcing just 11.8 turnovers per game.

The Tigers have had a tough time against A-10 competition, holding a 68-67 edge all-time. A win tonight would be head coach Josh Pastner’s 100th victory of his career at the helm of the program, and just the sixth in program history.

Game time is slated for 6 p.m. CT and will be televised by ESPN2 and Comcast digital channel 24.

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