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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Oral Roberts at Memphis
When: 3:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 20, 2014
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis has posted season scoring highs in back-to-back games and will look to extend the offensive fireworks Saturday when Oral Roberts pays a non-conference visit. The Tigers connected on a season-high 11 3-pointers in an 83-73 home victory over South Carolina Upstate on Wednesday – two nights after blitzing visiting North Carolina Central 81-47. Memphis has shot a combined 51.3 percent from the field - 44.4 percent from 3-point range, 75 percent from the free-throw line and enjoyed an 84-53 rebound advantage over those two games.

“We adjusted our pace, and our guard play has been better,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said at his post-game news conference Wednesday. “We have more possessions, and we've made shots. … The adjustments of the pace and speed has been important for us.” Oral Roberts, meanwhile, is coming off its worst loss of the season – an 85-53 setback Tuesday night at No. 15 Oklahoma – and is still looking for its first road win.

TV: 3 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

ABOUT ORAL ROBERTS (4-5): Coach Scott Sutton’s Golden Eagles are coming off a brutal stretch of three games in four nights, capped by the road loss to the Sooners. Oral Roberts had topped 80 points the previous two games in home wins over New Mexico State and Missouri State but is only averaging 55 points in four road contests. Obi Emegano, who only played three games last season due to an ACL tear, is setting the pace with 15 points per game, while backcourt mate Korey Billbury is averaging 12.9 and a team-high 6.4 rebounds.

ABOUT MEMPHIS (5-4): The young Tigers are learning on the fly with nine first-year players in the program, including only one senior in Southern University transfer Calvin Godfrey. Sophomore Austin Nichols (10.9 points), junior college transfer Trahson Burrell (10.8) and third-year starter Shaq Goodwin (10.1) are leading Memphis in scoring, while Goodwin (6.6 boards), Burrell (5.7) and Nick King (5.6) are the top rebounders. The Tigers are outrebounding foes by 7.1 per game but are struggling with turnovers, giving it away 16.8 times per outing.

TIP-INS

1. The 6-8 Austin ranked tied for eighth nationally with 3.22 blocked shots per contest through Wednesday's games, and has a combined seven over Memphis’ last two outings.

2. This is the sixth of a nine-game homestand for the Tigers – the program’s longest since 1979-80.

3. Since 2004, Memphis has won more home games (181) than any Division I program in the nation. The Tigers are 181-23 over that span.

PREDICTION: Memphis 69, Oral Roberts 62

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Oral Roberts 4-5 L1 3-0 0-4 1-1 1-0 3-5 0-0
Memphis 5-4 W2 4-2 0-0 1-2 1-2 4-2 0-0
Last Meeting
Oral Roberts Memphis
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/28/12 ORU 57 MEM 72 57 30 37.1 72 35 52.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oral Roberts D. Bell-Holter 18 43.8 4
Memphis A. Barton 17 62.5 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oral Roberts D. Bell-Holter 14 8 6
Memphis D. Stephens 14 2 12
Assists Player  
Oral Roberts K. Billbury 4
Memphis A. Barton 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oral Roberts O. Emegano 135 39.6 59
Memphis A. Nichols 98 49.3 24
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oral Roberts K. Billbury 58 21 37
Memphis S. Goodwin 59 21 38
Assists Player  
Oral Roberts K. Billbury 26
Memphis R. Powell 23
Quickchart Matchup
Oral Roberts Off vs  Memphis Defense
64.9 Points For
61.7 Points Against
39.1 FG%
38.1 FG%
30.8 Reb
28.8 Reb
Memphis Off vs  Oral Roberts Defense
66.2 Points For
70.4 Points Against
43.5 FG%
46.2 FG%
28.8 Reb
31.9 Reb