Memphis hopes history doesn't repeat vs. Tulsa

·2 min read

The Memphis Tigers are looking for payback when they host to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in an American Athletic Conference game on Monday night.

Tulsa routed Memphis, ranked 20th in the nation at the time, in their most recent matchup, winning 80-40 at home last season.

It was the largest margin of victory over a ranked team in Tulsa's 113-year men's basketball history. It was also Tulsa's largest victory over any opponent in eight years.

"There was not an area of the game that we didn't do well," Tulsa coach Frank Haith, whose team held Memphis to 2-for-21 shooting on three-pointers, said. "I'm proud of the way we competed."

This season, Memphis (5-3, 1-0 AAC) is 3-0 at home. Tulsa (2-3, 0-1 AAC) will be playing its first true road game.

Memphis is relying on hustle and physicality, grabbing at least 16 offensive rebounds in three straight games, the first time the Tigers have accomplished that feat in a decade.

Tigers coach Penny Hardaway is confident in his team, especially with the recently added eligibility of DeAndre Williams, who transferred after one season and 15 starts at Evansville, making his Memphis debut in Wednesday's 80-74 win over Tulane.

"We have a very dynamic bench," Hardaway said of the group that includes Williams. "We feel like we are very deep.

"It was DeAndre's first game, and he had a lot of nervous energy. We have to keep him out of foul trouble, but he attacks every rebound."

Williams, a 6-9 forward, finished with 10 points, six rebounds, four fouls, two assists, one block and a steal in just 17 minutes, making 4 of 5 attempts from the floor.

"We looked deadly when we used him as our small-ball center," said Hardaway, noting that Williams must improve his 2-for-9 shooting at the free-throw line.

Memphis leads its series against Tulsa 21-8, including a 13-2 mark against the Golden Hurricane at home.

Brandon Rachal leads Tulsa in scoring (15.6), rebounds (6.4) and blocks (1.0), while Keyshawn Embery-Simpson and Elijah Joiner are each averaging 10.4 points, and the latter leads the team with 3.8 assists per game.

Memphis will counter with Landers Nolley, a 6-7, 230-pound wing who leads the team in scoring (14.4) after transferring from Virginia Tech.

Tigers sophomore D.J. Jeffries, another 6-7 wing, is averaging 13.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

Three other Tigers also average double figures in points: Boogie Ellis (10.9), Lester Quinones (10.4) and Williams (10.0). Moussa Cisse, a 6-10 freshman, leads Memphis in rebounds (8.5) and blocks (1.9), while guard Alex Lomax tops the Tigers in assists (4.1).

--Field Level Media