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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lamar Set to Play at No. 22-Ranked Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Coming off a big home win over Northern Illinois, Lamar University is set to play its second game this season against a ranked opponent as the Cardinals play at No. 22-ranked Memphis Thursday at FedEx Forum. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Lamar is 5-7 overall is coming off a 74-53 win over Northern Illinois on Dec. 20 and has won two of its last three games. Memphis is 9-3 overall and is coming off an 86-46 home win over Middle Tennessee State on Saturday. The Tigers are ranked No. 22 in the AP Top 25 poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

This will be the fourth meeting between Lamar and Memphis with the Tigers holding a 2-1 all-time series advantage. Memphis won last year's meeting, 108-83, on Nov. 28, 2005. The Tigers won the first-ever meeting, 67-45, on Dec. 15, 1959 in Memphis and Lamar won the second meeting, 82-69, on Dec. 2, 1968 in Memphis. Lamar coach Steve Roccaforte spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis (2000-03) under current coach John Calipari.

Junior Lamar Sanders set season highs of 21 points and 17 rebounds in the Cardinals' win over NIU. It also marked his fifth double-double of the season. Sanders is second on the team in scoring at 13.0 ppg and leads the team and the Southland Conference in rebounding at 9.9 rpg. He also ranks sixth in the SLC in assists (3.67) and second in field goal percentage (.606).

Junior James Davis is coming off a good all-around game against NIU with 14 points, five rebounds, six assists, three steals and a season-high four blocked shots. He leads the team and ranks second in the SLC in scoring at 17.2 ppg and is second in rebounding at 8.5 rpg.

Junior Darren Hopkins is the only other Cardinal averaging double-figures at 12.9 ppg, which ranks 16th in the SLC. He also ranks fourth in three-point percentage (.453) and sixth in three-pointers made per game (2.42).

Lamar is averaging 70.7 ppg and is shooting 41.2 percent from the field, 36.9 percent from 3-point range and 62.5 percent from the free throw line. The Cardinals have a minus-3.7 scoring margin, a minus-1.3 rebound margin and a minus-0.6 turnover margin.

Chris Douglas-Roberts leads Memphis in scoring at 15.6 ppg and is shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 70.4 percent from the free throw line. Jeremy Hunt is second on the team in scoring at 13.1 ppg and has come off the bench in every game. He is the team's top three-point shooter at 40 percent (28-of-70).

Robert Dozier is the only other Tiger averaging double-figures at 10.9 ppg and is averaging 5.8 rpg. He is shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 76.5 percent from the free throw line. Joey Dorsey leads the team in rebounding at 9.6 rpg.

Memphis is averaging 81.6 ppg and is shooting 45.9 percent from the field, 31.5 percent from 3-point range and 60.5 percent from the free throw line. The Tigers have a plus-14.8 scoring margin, a plus-6.2 rebound margin and a plus-3.3 turnover margin.

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