After a 13-point road loss to East Carolina, the Tigers (7-18, 2-10 American Athletic Conference) will look to break their eight-game losing streak when they return to the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on Sunday to take on the Tulane Green Wave (12-13, 4-8 AAC.) This will be the Tigers’ annual Play4Kay game, honoring the late North Carolina State coach Kay Yow.
A look at the opponent
The Green Wave has had their own share of struggles this year. They have only won four of their 12 conference games this season. They are also on a four-game losing streak on the road, which could bode well for the Tigers.
Offensively, the Green Wave have been below average this season, currently averaging 63 points per game. That places them eighth in the AAC. They shoot roughly 40 percent from the field as a team, good for seventh in the conference. They have struggled from the foul line as well, shooting 67 percent.
Defensively, the Green Wave’s play has not fared much better. They allow teams to shoot 39 percent from the floor. That places them sixth in the AAC. Their rebounding has been fairly lackluster as well. They are ranked 11th in offensive rebounding and ninth in defensive rebounding.
What to watch
A big key for the Tigers in this upcoming matchup will be how they fare on the defensive end. They have struggled all season, allowing teams to shoot nearly 43 percent from the field. That is good for only 10th in the AAC. Memphis also struggles creating second chance opportunities offensively, currently dead last in the conference in offensive rebounding.
In their last matchup against ECU, the Tigers were dominated on the glass. They allowed the Pirates to collect 42 rebounds, 22 of them offensively. The Pirates also did a great job of capitalizing off mistakes, scoring 31 points off turnovers.
Players to watch
Tulane guard Kolby Morgan
Morgan has been the most consistent offensive weapon for the Green Wave this season. She leads the team in scoring, averaging 19 points per contest. She is the only member of the team who has double-figure averages in scoring. The New Orleans native is also currently second on the team in both assists and rebounds. Keeping her in check will be key for a Tigers win.
Memphis forward Cheyenne Creighton
Creighton has been one of the few bright spots for a shorthanded Tigers roster this season. She has added range to her offense this season, becoming a viable weapon in the pick-and-pop game. Creighton currently leads the team in rebounds, averaging eight per game. The Canada native also averages 14 points per game, good for second on the team. Her soft shooting touch will likely have to be the catalyst for the Tigers’ offensive attack. A big game from her Sunday spells good news for Memphis.
The University of Memphis women’s basketball team (10-17, 5-9 American Athletic Conference) will be facing the SMU Mustangs (10-17, 4-10 AAC) March 2 in their last away game of the regular season.
Head coach Melissa McFerrin watches the action from the sidelines against UConn. Despite their best efforts, the Memphis Tigers were unable to pull off the upset over the No. 3 ranked UConn Huskies, losing the game 102-45.