Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - The 17th-ranked Memphis Tigers will take a break from their American Athletic Conference schedule and their Division I slate for that matter, as they play host to the Lemoyne-Owen Magicians on Saturday afternoon at FedExForum.
Josh Pastner's Tigers enter this contest off a tough 83-73 home loss against Connecticut on Thursday. The setback dropped Memphis to 12-4 overall and 3-2 in league play. The Tigers are still a healthy 6-2 at home this season.
The Magicians play in the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). William Anderson's squad was picked to finish fourth in the SIAC West Division and has struggled to a 4-9 record thus far, including a 2-4 mark in-conference. The Magicians have lost four of their last five games and enter this contest off an 85-75 setback to Fort Valley State on Thursday.
Memphis has won all six previous meetings with Lemoyne-Owen, although all have been exhibitions. This is the first regular-season matchup between the two teams.
The Magicians shot a cool 50 percent from the floor against Fort Valley State, but turned the ball over a costly 22 times, resulting in 25 points for FVSU in the 10-point loss. It spoiled a strong performance from Daequan Mitchell- Fields, who led the team with 20 points. Marcel Hawkins just missed a double- double in the loss, finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Jerry Hampton chipped in with 15 points.
Lemoyne-Owen is averaging just over 70 points per game this season, as three Magicians lead the way in double figures. Mitchell-Fields comes off the bench, but paces the team nonetheless in the scoring column at 12.9 ppg. Hampton and Hawkins provide limited scoring depth at 11.7 and 10.1 ppg, respectively.
The Tigers led by one point at the half against UConn, but the Huskies found their range after the break, shooting .607 from the floor over the final 20 minutes to distance themselves from Memphis and earn the 10-point win. Four Tigers finished in double digits in the loss, led by Michael Dixon Jr. who posted 16 points. Austin Nichols was next with 13 points, with Joe Jackson (11 pts) and Shaq Goodwin (10 pts) rounding out the top scorers.
Memphis has proved to be a solid squad offensively this season, averaging a steady 79.1 ppg on .470 shooting. The team also has done a nice job rebounding (+3.1 rebounding margin) and forcing turnovers (+3.7 turnover margin). Jackson is the team catalyst, pacing Memphis in both scoring (14.4 ppg) and assists (3.8 apg). Goodwin is next in scoring (13.0 ppg) and tops the team on the boards (6.8 rpg). Dixon (11.6 ppg) can also fill up the basket, but does his work mostly coming off the bench.