Memphis Vs. Houston Football: Scouting Report, Score Prediction

This time, it's personal.

It has to be, according to Memphis basketball coach Penny Hardaway. Less than two weeks removed from losing 72-71 on a buzzer-beater at East Carolina, the Tigers (10-8, 4-4 AAC) have a chance to avenge the heartbreaking outcome. Tip-off is Thursday (8 p.m., ESPN2) at FedExForum.

That loss, made worse by the fact that Memphis also squandered a 19-point lead, is still fresh with the Tigers.

“It’s a game we need desperately, because we can’t afford to lose any more home games,” said Hardaway, whose Tigers are 7-2 at home this season. “Obviously, everyone saw the game at ECU (and) how we lost at the end (after having) a 19-point lead. It just has to be personal when they come here on Thursday.”

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The Pirates' lone win since Jan. 5 is their victory over the Tigers. In its last game, ECU (11-7, 2-4) lost 79-36 at Houston on Saturday. ECU established new program lows for field goals (eight) and field goal percentage (16%). The Pirates were also 1-of-19 from 3-point range.

Here is what else you should know about the matchup.

Memphis scouting report

The Tigers did not get credit for a steal during Tulsa's final possession in the 83-81 win on Sunday. But, led by Alex Lomax, they put on a defensive clinic over the last 24.9 seconds of the game.

Even without a steal there, Memphis ranks 37th in the country in steals per game (8.2). The Tigers finished with eight versus Tulsa, the fourth straight game with that many. In 18 games, Memphis has collected fewer than eight just four times.

That's the kind of formula that can help carry a team in games like the one coming up against ECU. Especially when the opposition has an offense as productive as the Pirates have been this season.

ECU scouting report

It was Tristan Newton and little else for the Pirates their last time out. The sophomore guard, who scored 11 points against Memphi, led ECU with 14 points and six rebounds.

ECU was missing Brandon Suggs – who hit the game-winning shot and scored 17 points against the Tigers – due to ankle injury. But the Pirates welcomed fourth-leading scorer JJ Miles (who did not play against Memphis) back from a foot injury. Miles did not score a point in 14 minutes against Houston.

Outside of the loss to the Cougars, scoring points has not been a problem for ECU, even in its recent 1-4 stretch. The Pirates still rank 61st in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (36%) and fifth in the AAC in points per game (72.1).

Defensively, however, ECU ranks dead last in the league, giving up 72.2 a game. There's no word yet whether Suggs will play Thursday. If he can't, it's another blow for the defense, as he ranks third on the team in blocks and steals.

Prediction

Memphis 83, East Carolina 68: The Tigers will redeem themselves. Resoundingly.

Reach sports writer Jason Munz at [email protected] or on Twitter @munzly.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis men's basketball vs. ECU: Scouting report, score prediction

Source : https://news.yahoo.com/memphis-tigers-mens-basketball-vs-120252519.html

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