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Tigers to face Pirates on the road

Memphis Tigers women’s basketball (7-17, 2-9 American Athletic Conference) will seek to end their seven-game losing streak Wednesday when they travel to face East Carolina (13-11, 5-6 AAC). The Tigers have not lost against East Carolina since January 2015.

Currently, the Tigers are last in the AAC, and the Pirates are sixth. This will be the second matchup between the two teams this season. The Tigers won against East Carolina 72-36 in early January.

“I would expect that we are going to see a different team,” head coach Melissa McFerrin said after Memphis’ 53-35 loss to Southern Methodist University. “They’ve gotten their mojo going a little bit. They’re back up the floor, pressing and trapping.”


A look at the opponent

East Carolina is returning home after an 88-47 loss at South Florida. 

The Pirates play well on defense, forcing about 22.2 turnovers per game, while they turn the ball over about 18.9 times a game. They also get 2.8 more steals per game than their opponents. The Pirates average 80 points per game.

Four of the Pirates’ five conference wins have been at home.

“It’s a tough place to play,” McFerrin said. “We know that. It’s always been a difficult place to play.


Areas of improvement

The Tigers are 2-10 outside of Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Memphis has been plagued by injuries this season and is playing a short rotation of seven healthy players. In the Tigers’ two conference wins, they have shot at 49 percent. In the Tigers’ loss against SMU, they shot 29.8 percent — their second lowest percentage of the season.

The Tigers are struggling to defend the three-point line. In their last win against East Carolina, the Tigers did not allow the Pirates to score beyond the arc.


Players to watch

Memphis guard Brea Elmore

The Tigers’ leading scorer is 45 points away from having a 1,000-point career. Elmore is averaging 14.5 points per game. In Memphis’ wins against ECU and Tulsa, she had 22 and 19 points, respectively. The Tigers are 0-6 in conference play when Elmore scores less than 19 points.


East Carolina center Thais Oliveria

Oliveria is the second highest scorer for the Pirates behind Ariyana Williams. She averages 9 points per game. She leads the team in blocks with 35 this season. Although she has no shots from beyond the arc, she has the second highest shooting percentage on the team at 48.8 percent. Oliveria leads the team in rebounds total rebounds this season with 5.7 rebounds per game.

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