Memphis (18-7) at Tulane (15-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 15th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Fogelman Arena (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: Memphis 13-1, Tulane 12-2. Away Record: Memphis 4-4, Tulane 2-7. Neutral Record: Memphis 1-2, Tulane 1-0. Conference Record: Memphis 8-2, Tulane 3-7. Series Record: Memphis leads, 42-9.
GAME NOTES: Two of the best defensive teams in Conference-USA square off on the hardwood tonight in New Orleans, as the Tulane Green Wave host the Tigers of Memphis at Fogelman Arena.
Memphis has won three straight, and most recently earned a decisive 79-45 verdict over UAB on Saturday. The win improved the Tigers' 2011-12 overall ledger to 18-7, in addition to giving the squad an 8-2 tally to their C-USA slate.
As for Tulane, the Green Wave suffered a heartbreaking 54-52 overtime setback at UTEP over the weekend, dropping to 15-9 overall this season in the process. Still, the Green Wave head into this affair with a meager 3-7 record in league play, and have lost three of their last five contests.
Memphis has dominated the all-time series between these two long-standing foes, 42-9, including the last 19 straight over Tulane. The last time the Mean Green notched a victory over Memphis was back on February 9th, 2000.
Memphis shot at a blistering 53.1 percent clip that included an outstanding 14-of-24 mark from three-point land in Saturday's 34-point rout of UAB. At the other end of the court, the Tigers held UAB to just 34.1 percent from the field and dominated the battle of the boards to the tune of 33-20, allowing the Blazers to capture just one offensive board. The duo of Chris Crawford and Will Barton scored 16 points apiece, with the latter also collecting a game- high nine rebounds, to pace Memphis in the victory. Antonio Barton added 10 points in the win. The Tigers average a healthy 74.8 points per game this season, and have been aided by a 48.6 percent team shooting clip that includes a respectable 38.5 percent mark from three-point range. At the other end of the court, the Tigers have kept the opposition in check to the tune of 65.3 ppg on just 38.9 percent from the field, and have also forced 334 turnovers through 25 games. Barton, with 18.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, leads the way for Memphis this season, and he is joined in double figures by Joe Jackson and his 10.2 ppg contribution.
Despite getting 19 points from the duo of Ricky Tarrant and Jordan Callahan, the Green Wave could not hold off UTEP and ended up with a two-point overtime loss. Tulane had a handful of chances to put the contest away towards the end of regulation in addition to at the end of the extra session, but had shots fall off the rim each time. Tarrant missed a jumper as the buzzer sounded to end regulation, while a three-point attempt from Callahan with three seconds left in overtime also failed to drop in. The Green Wave shot just 42.2 percent from the floor overall during the meeting, a mark that included a meager 5- for-15 from long range. Tulane committed a game-high 16 turnovers as well, yielding 22 UTEP points, and the Miners edged out the Green Wave on the glass by a 37-34 margin. Tulane owes much of its success to sound defensive play, as the club yields just 57.9 ppg to its adversaries. Opponents are shooting just 39.5 percent from the floor as well this season, and the Green Wave forces an average of 14.8 turnovers per contest. Offensively, the Green Wave is shooting just 43.1 percent from the field as a team, and nets just 65.8 ppg. Still, the squad owns four players with a double-digit scoring average, beginning with Tarrant and his 14.4 ppg. Timmons checks in at 13.6 ppg, while Callahan has been responsible for 12.3 ppg. Josh Davis leads the way on the glass (9.3 rpg), in addition to a team-leading 33 blocks to go with a 10.3 ppg tally.
Memphis should earn itself a satisfying road victory here against a Tulane squad that has struggled lately. While each squad brings a stingy defense to the court, the Tigers are the more well-rounded club. Look for the Tigers to pull away late in an otherwise tightly contested affair, most likely at the foul line.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Memphis 70, Tulane 65
02/15 10:53:16 ET