Second-ranked Tigers host travel-weary Waves
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - The second-ranked Memphis Tigers put a 39-game homecourt winning streak on the line this afternoon, as they welcome the Pepperdine Waves to the FedExForum for a non-conference matchup.
The Tigers are one of just six unbeatens to start the 2008 calendar year and moved to 12-0 on the season with a dominating 102-58 drubbing of Siena on Thursday. The victory marked the 100th non-conference win under John Calipari.
The Waves have certainly logged the frequent flyer miles this season as this game ends a 10-game stint away from Malibu. Pepperdine has had the last two weeks off for the holidays, but does bring a three-game losing streak into this game. The last time the Waves were on the floor, they suffered a heart-breaking 80-79 setback at Manhattan.
This is the seventh all-time meeting between these two teams, with Memphis winning five of the previous six. However, these teams have not met since the 1992 NCAA Tournament, an 80-70 first-round win for the Tigers.
The Waves have the capability of putting a lot of points on the scoreboard, with the team averaging 78.6 ppg. However, Pepperdine isn't a very strong shooting team, hitting on just 42.1 percent from the floor and a miserable 28.8 percent from three-point range. What the team does possess is a talented and young core. The top two scoring threats are both freshmen. Tyrone Shelley has started just three games this year, but has settled in as the team's first man off the bench. He currently leads the Waves in scoring at 15.6 ppg. Malcolm Thomas has made an immediate impact in the paint, as the 6-8 youngster is averaging a near double-double with 15.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per outing. Where this team has really struggled is at the defensive end, allowing foes to net 81.9 ppg on .484 shooting. Despite turning the ball over a unforgivable 26 times, the Waves still only lost by one point at Manhattan last time out. Shelley recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Thomas led the way with 18 points and eight boards.
All 12 players scored for Memphis, as the team whipped Siena on Thursday, beating the Saints by 44 points. The Tigers hit 15 three-pointers in the game and shot 52.8 percent from the floor overall. Reserve Jeff Robinson was flat out dominant, as he recorded a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds in a mere 12 minutes of work. Robert Dozier (13 points and 10 boards) and Joey Dorsey (12 points, 14 rebounds) also posted double-doubles, as the Tigers pulled down an amazing 60 rebounds in the game. All-American candidate Chris Douglas-Roberts did the rest from the perimeter, as he hit five of his six three-point attempts, en route to a 19-point effort. The Tigers are enjoying a +18.4 scoring margin, averaging 81.9 ppg, while allowing just 63.5. Douglas- Roberts has played lights out in the first dozen games. He is shooting a ridiculous .549 from the floor and .545 from behind the arc. It has led to a team-high 17.5 ppg. Derrick Rose is a freshman talent that has paid immediate dividends, adding nearly 15 points per game (14.8). Dozier (10.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Dorsey (8.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg) give the Tigers the necessary bodies on the glass.
01/05 10:36:08 ET