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Tulsa take two: Tigers travel to face Golden Hurricanes

The Memphis Tigers (13-6, 4-2 AAC) will travel to Tulsa (10-9, 3-4 AAC) for their seventh American Athletic Conference matchup on Saturday. The Tigers are tied with Houston for third in the AAC behind No. 12 Cincinnati and No. 7 Wichita State.

The Tigers are on their first four-game win streak since joining the AAC. The Tigers have not won four consecutive conference games since the 2012-13 season under former head coach Josh Pastner.

Memphis hosted Tulsa over the break Jan. 6 and won 76-67.


A look at the opponent


Tulsa is on a four-game losing streak. The Golden Hurricanes are returning home after a 59-58 loss to Temple Wednesday. Tulsa leads the conference in rebounds with about 41.6 per game. They also have scored the most points of any AAC team this season, averaging 71.3 points per game.


Areas of improvement


Memphis struggles to maintain possession. The Tigers turned over the ball 14.5 times per game in conference play. Conference opponents are able to get 8.5 steals per game, while the Tigers get about 4.8.

While the Tigers have been shooting better overall from the field, they are still struggling from beyond the arc. The Tigers are shooting at 31 percent, while AAC opponents are shooting 38 percent. In the Tigers last win over Tulsa, they shot just 30.8 percent from beyond the arc, while the Golden Hurricanes shot 36 percent.

The Tigers have also struggled on the road this season. They are 1-5 outside of FedEx Forum. Their first road win was Saturday in overtime against Temple.


Players to watch


Memphis guard Jeremiah Martin

In Memphis’ two conference losses, Martin scored eight points or less. In the four games since then, Martin has scored 21 points or more. He had a career-high 31 points against Tulane and a career-high 11 rebounds against UConn.

Memphis center Mike Parks Jr.

Parks had career highs in four games in conference play. He is coming off career highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Before AAC play, Parks had not scored more than nine points in a game. He averages 13.2 points for the Tigers in conference play and has been a consistent starter for Tubby Smith.

Tulsa guard Sterling Taplin

Taplin has been the Golden Hurricanes’ top scorer in AAC play. He is averaging 12.6 points per game, 4.1 rebounds and four assists. He also shoots well from beyond the arc,  at 43.3 percent. In three of Tulsa’s last four losses, he was limited to 11 points or less.

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