12:00 PM ET, February 15, 2014
XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Memphis Tigers remember the final 5 minutes of their first game against Connecticut only too well. The Huskies simply didn't miss in turning a tie game into an easy win.Now the 20th-ranked Tigers visit No. 24 UConn on Saturday, and Memphis coach Josh Pastner insists he sees only opportunity and not revenge for that 83-73 loss on Jan. 16."We've got to do a better job," Pastner said. "We just got to be better. We've got to play like UConn did coming in here. They played with their backs against the wall, and we've got to do the same thing going up there to Connecticut."Saturday's game is the first of seven to wrap up the regular season, and it's a crucial stretch for Memphis with four of those on the road. Of those seven, the Tigers will be playing the three teams to beat them in the American Athletic Conference: UConn, Cincinnati and SMU in the regular season finale."It's most important to win every game from here on out," senior guard Joe Jackson said. "That's the goal. We need every game. We can't give a game away. It's very important for us, for our team and our confidence. We can't give away the game that we gave away to UConn and Cincinnati."Memphis was right there against UConn with 5:22 left on Jan. 16. Then the Huskies hit all seven shots from the floor and went a perfect 6 of 6 at the free throw line to finish off the Tigers. DeAndre Daniels had a double-double with 23 points and a career-high 11 rebounds with Shabazz Napier scoring eight of his 17 points in those deciding final minutes.Daniels said Friday the Huskies will have to match Memphis' intensity."I feel like they are going to come out more aggressive because they are going to want revenge," Daniels said.Jackson said the Tigers were very indecisive throughout that game, especially on defense where they didn't help each other as much as they could. UConn also outrebounded Memphis by 12. Jackson sees the mistakes as easy to fix, and Pastner agrees."Napier hit a couple shots that we had a couple hands in his face," Pastner said. "He's a big-time player."The Tigers (19-5, 8-3) currently are third in the AAC behind league-leading Cincinnati and Louisville. They have won eight of their last 10 with the losses to UConn and on the road at SMU. A win Saturday keeps them pushing for the league title in their first season in this revamped and retitled conference before hosting the American tournament in March.Jackson said the losses to UConn and Cincinnati feel like an early season loss to Oklahoma State made worse by it coming on their home court."No matter who it is we don't like losing at home," Jackson said. "Just going out on the road we play better on the road. It's going to be a better environment for our team because we're going to come together. It's going to be fun for us because of the challenge, and we need it."Coach Kevin Ollie believes UConn (19-5, 7-4) is better defensively and on the boards now than when the Huskies beat Memphis last month. The Huskies have won eight of their last 10, including the 10-point victory in Memphis, and have held their last four opponents to just over 50 points a game.Ollie wants to make sure they protect their own court, even if teams like Memphis may be more ready for them the second time around."We are playing against teams that are ahead of us, so if we take care of business, then we'll move up in the standings," Ollie said. "So, I'm not worried about that."
|Avg Points Allowed||70.4||63.1|
Memphis scores 21.9 transition points per game, most in the AAC and third most in the nation. Uconn held Memphis to nine transition points in their previous meeting on Jan. 16, the Tigers' second fewest in a game this season.[+]
Memphis Transition Offense
Memphis averages 41.1 points per game in the paint, three more than any other major conference team (AAC, ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC).[+]
Most Paint PPG
Shabazz Napier scored or assisted on 52% of Connecticut's points in its win at Memphis on Jan. 16, tied for his highest percentage in conference play this season. Napier's 43 points responsible for and Connecticut's 26 points off of his assists are both tied for his season highs.
Shabazz Napier has scored or assisted on 41% of Connecticut's points, including 43% in conference games.[+]
Even though Memphis shot a much higher percentage from the field than UConn did, Memphis' inability to protect the ball or prevent UConn from heading to the foul line cost the Tigers the game.[+]
Memphis vs UConn - Inside The Numbers
Shabazz Napier scored 6 points and dished out an assist in OT against Memphis, part of a 34-point performance. UConn improved to 9-2 in overtime during the last 3 seasons with Napier, who is shooting over 70 percent from 3 and dropping in over 5 points per OT period during that span.[+]
Shabazz Napier in Overtime Last 3 Seasons
With their overtime loss at Connecticut on Saturday, Memphis is now 3-15 against AP Top-25 teams since Josh Pastner took over as head coach in 2009:[+]
Tiger Troubles vs AP Top-25 - Memphis Under Josh Pastner (2009-present)
Shabazz Napier is the first UConn player with 30 points, 5 boards, 4 assists and 4 steals in a game since Ben Gordon. (2003)
UConn is the first team to sweep both regular season conference games against Memphis since Southern Miss in 2000-01 season (when Memphis was in Conference USA).
ESPN Stats & Information