MEMPHIS, TN – The Memphis Tigers hit hardwood for the first time in nine days Saturday night against UCF at FedExForum. The tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.
After this week’s winter storm, Memphis Athletics is offering a free ticket to Saturday’s game so fans can warm up at FedExForum with other Tiger fans. Free tickets will be distributed in the FedExForum lobby near the Grizzlies team store when doors open Saturday. Fans can receive one free ticket per person and all parties must be present to claim the ticket. FedExForum doors open at 6 p.m.
Saturday’s game also includes the larry finch/Penny Hardaway distribution of “Coaches Edition” commemorative coins for the first 5,000 fans, courtesy of Regional One Health. Coach Hardaway has signed a selection of change boxes that will be mixed in with what’s being handed out at the gates.
Memphis last played Jan. 27, a 71-54 win over Eastern Carolina, after Thursday’s game at Cincinnati was postponed due to inclement winter weather in Cincinnati. The game against the Bearcats will be dialed on Tuesday, Feb. 15, creating a three-game road stretch for the Tigers mid-month in Houston (Feb. 12), Cincinnati (Feb. 15) and SMU (Feb. 20).
A win over UCF would give Memphis its second three-game winning streak since the schedule flip in 2022 and take the Tigers to 6-4 in American Athletic Conference action. As the league standings currently stand, a 6-4 record would keep Memphis a loss to third place, which is held 5-3 by Cincinnati and Temple.
After Saturday, Memphis’ next five games will face teams ahead of it in the AAC standings. The Tigers stay at home to face Tulane on Wednesday at 7 p.m., then hit the road for that three-game streak before hosting Temple at FedExForum on Thursday, Feb. 24.
Saturday’s game is presented by Regional One Health.
Memphis Tigers (11-8, 5-4 AAC) vs. UCF Knights (13-7, 5-5 AAC)
Saturday February 5, 2022 | 7 p.m. CT
FedEx Forum (18,400); Memphis, TN.
Television: ESPN2 (Kevin Brown, pxp; Mark Adams, analysis)
Radio: 98.9 THE MEMPHIS ROAR (Dave Woloshin, pxp; Matt Dillon, analysis)
- 100: Saturday’s game could be the 100th of Alex Lomax‘ Career in Memphis; the Bluff City native is averaging 5.9 points and 3.5 assists averaging 22.3 minutes per game in his Tiger career.
- 1: Freshman in Nation, Memphis Josh Minotthas at least 20 assists, 15 steals and 10 blocked shots while playing less than 20.0 minutes per game this year.
- 40.4: Lester Quinone3-point percentage in Tiger’s 11 wins (19-47), compared to 22.2% in Memphis’ eight losses (6-27).
- 15-7: Memphis record in February under head coach Penny Hardawayincluding 5-0 in 2020-21.
- 9th: The Tigers’ national free throw rate ranking (.403), measuring a team’s ability to reach the free throw line (FTA/FGA); the Tigers, however, are 317th in free throw percentage (.658).
THE LAST TIME
- A strong second half propelled the Tigers past East Carolina last Thursday night at FedExForum, 71-54.
- Memphis used a 13-4 run to open a 45-36 lead after the Pirates tied the game at 32 early in the second half and the Tigers led by double digits in the final 7:18 of the competition.
- The Tigers were led by Lester Quinone‘ 17 points, including four 3-pointers.
- Josh Minott recorded a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Emoni Bates, Malcolm Dandridge and Count Timberlake had eight points each.
- Timberlake also grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and added five assists.
- Eight Tigers played at least 19 minutes in the game.
- Memphis held East Carolina to 26.4% shooting in the game (19-72), which is the second-lowest field goal percentage allowed by the Tigers this year behind 26.2%. North Carolina Central shootout Nov. 13 (17-65).
- Memphis finished the game shooting 42.1 percent from the field (24-57) and was 14 for 24 in the second half (.583).
- East Carolina (11-8, 2-5 AAC) was led by Tristan Newtonit’s 19 points.
NOTING THE OPPONENT
- The UCF is led by three double-digit players, with Darin Green Jr. leading with 13.8 points per game, Darius Perry score at an 11.5 ppg clip and Brandon Mahon contributing 10.2 points per outing.
- Mahan was a second all-conference preseason team selection entering this season.
- The Knights are fifth in the AAC in scoring offense (71.2) and sixth in scoring defense (66.6), with the Tigers being second and ninth, respectively.
- UCF also ranks second in the conference in 3 points per game with 8.6.
- Last season, the Knights’ campaign ended with an 11-12 record after a 70-62 loss to the Tigers in the quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament.
- UCF was chosen to finish fifth this year in the preseason coaches poll, behind Houston, Memphis, SMU and Wichita State.