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Tigers struggle to execute during four game losing streak

<p>K.J. Lawson leads the fast break with a dunk against ECU. He is third on the team with 12.6 points per game.</p>
K.J. Lawson leads the fast break with a dunk against ECU. He is third on the team with 12.6 points per game.

The Memphis Tigers lost their fourth straight game after Houston blocked Jeremiah Martin’s game-winning shot attempted. This is the first time since the 2004-05 season that the Tigers have lost four consecutive games.

            The four loses, all in conference play, has dropped Memphis from third to tied for sixth in the conference standings. The losing streak could hurt their chances at a tournament run with the lower seeding.

Late game execution

This has been an issue for the Tigers, with two of their four losses being by one point. The team looked stagnant down the stretch against Houston, with players standing around instead of setting screens and cutting to the basket.

On the final play of the game, the Tigers missed an open Jimario Rivers on the inbounds pass, throwing it Jeremiah Martin instead and forcing up desperation three that fell short.

The Tigers blew a 15 point second half lead against UConn February 16. The Tigers led 49-34 with about 14 minutes left in the game, but UConn went on a 31-13 run to end the game.

3 Point Shooting

The Tigers have not been a good three-point shooting team this season at 30 percent. Memphis has failed to hit that mark in three of the four loses, and is shooting 27 percent from deep in the four games combined.

Memphis also struggles to defend the perimeter. The Tigers have been outshot from deep in all four games while allowing opponents to shoot .37 percent.

Damyean Dotson hurt the Tigers during the Houston game with five threes. Two of his threes came directly after Memphis cut the lead to two. 


The Tigers have had double-digit turnovers in their last three matchups and have lost the turnover battle in all three. They turned the ball over 13 times against Houston, 12 against Cincinnati and 17 against UConn.

            Poor first halves

In three of their four losses, the Tigers faced double-digit deficits in the first half. Memphis jumped out to a 17 point lead against Temple. The Tigers were held scoreless over the final eight and a half minutes of the first half.

Against Cincinnati, the Tigers trailed by as many as 24 points in their 13 point loss, and Houston led by 13 in the first half.

Getting off to slow starts can ultimately lose a game, especially when a team struggles to hit three point shots.

Dedric Lawson’s Inconsistent Play

The Tiger’s star forward has been up and down during this four game stretch. He went 3-10 and only scored 12 points Sunday against Houston. Following a 27-point performance against Temple, Lawson had another 12 point outing against UConn, going 4-12 from the field and only grabbing seven rebounds.

            The Tigers have two more games left in the regular season. They will look to bounce back Thursday when they take on Tulane in the FedEx Forum before traveling to Dallas to play SMU on Saturday. The American Athletic Conference tournament will begin March 9.

K.J. Lawson leads the fast break with a dunk against ECU. He is third on the team with 12.6 points per game.

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