Coral Gables, FL – The Miami-Florida Hurricanes try to stay ranked Memphis at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables tonight.
Miami has rattled off five home wins in as many opportunities so far this season, although some of those matchups were a bit questionable given the level of competition. On the road the Hurricanes have been a different story, losing both away dates to Ole Miss and Purdue in consecutive outings. Most recently the team hosted UMass on Saturday and came away with an 83-75 triumph.
As for the Tigers, they came into the 2011-12 campaign with lofty goals and high expectations and already they have fallen in two of six decisions. Then again, those two setbacks have been against quality opponents in Georgetown and Michigan. Also in action over the weekend, Memphis blew the doors off Austin Peay at home in a 91-60 final to mark the team's second straight win and the third in the last four outings overall.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Tigers are ahead by a count of 7-5, the team taking the most recent meeting last season by a score of 72-68 at home.
Austin Peay led by a basket within the first minute of the meeting against Memphis over the weekend, but then the Tigers simply exploded with an incredible 11-of-15 shooting behind the three-point line in the first half, en route to a huge 25-point lead at the break and the eventual 29-point victory overall. Will Barton had an incredible game with 22 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the hosts at FedExForum, while Adonis Thomas came off the bench to register 17 points, four boards and three dishes of his own. Joe Jackson and Tarik Black tacked on 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the team finished with 57.1 percent accuracy from the floor and 15-of-25 shooting behind the three-point line. The top five scorers for Memphis heading into this week are all shooting better than 50.0 percent from the floor, with Black (7.8 ppg) leading the charge with his 56.7 percent effort which is actually better than his mere 56.5 percent at the free-throw line. Barton checks in with 18.2 ppg and is also tops with seven rebounds per game, followed by Jackson and Thomas with 13.2 and 11.2 ppg, respectively.
Except for Raphael Akpejiori who scored just six points in 15 minutes as he dealt with foul trouble, every starter for the Hurricanes landed in double figures in the win against the Minutemen, led by Durand Scott who scored all 16 of his points at the free-throw line (16-of-18). Scott, who also accounted for six rebounds and six assists, missed all six of his field goal tries in the meeting, the team as a whole finishing just a shade above 40 percent from the floor. Malcolm Grant dropped in 15 points, Shane Larkin 14 and Trey McKinney Jones 10 points to go along with his eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Only two players have started all seven games for Miami and those two just happen to be the only double-digit scorers for the group in Grant (17.1 ppg) and Scott (13.0 ppg). However, both players are having their issues from the floor, with Scott making a mere 29.7 percent of his field goal chances. Grant is slightly better at 38.1 percent, yet strangely enough he has converted 40.0 percent of his three-point tries. As a whole, Miami is knocking down just 39.9 percent from the floor, compared to 40.7 percent for the competition.