After each team dropped their first two games of the tournament, the Northern Iowa Panthers and the 19th- ranked Memphis Tigers will face off in the seventh-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
UNI's campaign got off to a very promising start, as it won all three games on its opening homestand, but it hasn't found success in the tournament. The Panthers fought hard against No. 2 Louisville in the opening round only to fall, 51-46. Things weren't as close against Stanford, as they lost, 66-50.
Memphis' season started off promising with wins at home over North Florida (81-66) and Samford (65-54), but it has not had much luck in the Bahamas. In the Tigers' opening round match, they lost to VCU, 78-65, then they followed that up with another defeat at the hands of Minnesota (84-75) to fall all the way to the seventh-place game.
This will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
After averaging 86.3 ppg in its first three wins, UNI's offensive output has hit a wall during this tournament, as it has totaled just 96 points in two contests. Stanford was able to stifle the Panthers on Friday, as they made just 36.2 percent of their field goal attempts and were plagued by 16 turnovers. Jake Koch (12 points) and Marc Sonnen (10 points) were the only Panther players to score in double figures, but the two struggled from beyond the arc, combining to make just 3-of-11 from three-point range. Luckily for UNI, things have been much better shooting wise over the course of its five games, as they were making nearly 48 percent of its attempts overall, including 40.5 percent from long range. Deon Mitchell has been the go-to scorer with 14.8 ppg on better than 54 percent field goal shooting, and Koch (11.3 ppg, 8.5 ppg, 1.8 bpg, 1.8 spg) has been multi-dimensional in the frontcourt.
Memphis got off to a fast start in its game against Minnesota, shooting 57.7 percent from the field in the first half to get out to a 47-42 halftime lead, but its field goal percentage plummeted to 35.1 percent after halftime as it allowed the Gophers to comeback and win. D.J. Stephens came off the bench to score a game-high 15 points and seven rebounds, while Tarik Black tallied 13 points and Adonis Thomas and Shaq Goodwin each scored 12 points. On the season, the Tigers are shooting an impressive 46.3 percent from the field, but its efficiency goes down to 32.7 percent from beyond the three-point line. Thomas (13.8 ppg) and Black (11.8 ppg) are the only players to average double figures in points, but five other Tigers score between 7.0 and 9.0 ppg.