The Memphis Tigers (13-13, 4-9 American Athletic Conference) are nearing the end of their regular with just three games left to be played. Their next game will be against the University of Southern Florida Bulls (15-10, 7-4 AAC).
This will be the first time that the two teams will be playing each other season. Their last meeting was last January where the Tigers won the game 47-40 on the road.
Forward Alana Davis led the team in scoring with 11 points, and she also had four rebounds and blocked a shot. Guard Gazmyne Herndon was a key part of the game and led the team in steals with three.
Coming into this game, both teams are coming off loses to conference opponents.
Memphis’ last game was a loss to the Temple Owls, 78-64 on February 19; their second straight loss.
The Tigers’ still undermanned, did see nice production from their starters, despite the defeat. Four out of their five starters scored double digits. Herndon was the standout performer of the bunch who led the team with 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
They also did a much better job with ball protection, turning the ball over 12 times, while forcing 13. This was a major upgrade from the 26 that they committed in their game before this one.
Defensively though, they could not do much to slow down Temple’s scoring. For the game, they finished shooting 52.3 percent from the field. This was aided by having two quarters where they shot over 58 percent of the field.
The Tigers’ were not able to compete with their scoring production and shot 40.3 percent from the field as a team. They did, however, manage to shoot a better free throw percentage than Temple, converting on 66.7 percent of their attempts compared to the Owls' 50 percent.
USF's game was less competitive as they were victims of a blowout at the hands of the UConn Huskies, 67-47.
As a team, they struggled to get points, and had just one player score double digits. From the field, they shot 32.1 percent from the field, while UConn was nearly at 50 percent.
Another thing that hurt the Bulls was that they had difficulty holding onto the ball and turned the ball over 22 times. This led to the Huskies scoring 21 points off of turnovers compared to their 18.
Despite USF coming off of a bad loss, they still are ahead of the Tigers in conference standings by a decent margin. They are fourth in the AAC while the Tigers are 10th in the conference.
Though the odds are already stacked against the Tigers as the season’s end draws nearer, if they can win out and the teams ahead of them can go on a slump, they could move up to the seventh or eighth spots.
Of course, for that to happen, they have to start winning and that must begin against the Bulls. It will be difficult considering the injuries that have left their roster with just six players available, but they have already shown that they can win games despite nearly insurmountable odd.