Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Josh Pastner hopes to collect his 100th
career victory as he guides his No. 19 Memphis Tigers to the Cintas Center for
a non-conference bout against the Xavier Musketeers.
Pastner, whose career record is 99-32 entering Tuesday, will most likely
become the second quickest coach to win 100 games at Memphis, trailing only
Bob Vanatta who accomplished the feat in his 129th appearance on the bench.
John Calipari arrived at 100 in his 145th game with the program.
Although Xavier is 6-2 all-time versus Memphis, the Tigers were able to claim
a 72-68 victory on Feb. 12, 2012 in the most recent clash between these mid-
major powers. The Musketeers led that contest by 11 points with 6:16 left, but
Memphis closed out the game on a 21-6 run in front of its FedExForum crowd.
The Tigers earned their 18th consecutive victory on Saturday as they blew past
Southern Miss for an 89-73 decision which guaranteed them at least a share of
the Conference USA regular season crown. Memphis showed against the Golden
Eagles that it is not a team anyone will want to face in March as it assisted
on 25 of its 29 made field goals and connected on 50 percent of its field-goal
tries. Chris Crawford and Shaq Goodwin tallied 19 points each, while Joe
Jackson, who paces the squad with 13.8 points and 4.7 assists per tilt,
contributed 15 points to mark his fourth consecutive game in double digits.
Memphis is one of the few teams in the nation that actually performs better on
the road. In home games, the Tigers are allowing the opposition to shoot 40.1
percent from the floor, 36.2 percent from beyond the arc and post 6.5 blocks
per tilt. They are limiting their foes to 38.3 percent field-goal shooting,
27.2 percent 3-point shooting and have rejected eight shots per away game. The
improved intensity on the defensive end has led to a perfect 7-0 road record.
Memphis's only three losses have come to VCU, Minnesota and Louisville, all of
which are in the top 40 in the RPI.
Chris Mack's Musketeers enter with a 15-11 overall record after suffering a
tough, 75-71 loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday. Xavier jumped out to a
17-point lead over the Rams, but it was not able to cope with VCU's full court
press and fell to 52-2 in Atlantic 10 home games since 2007. The Musketeers
are 9-3 at the Cintas Center this season.
Xavier lost point guard Dee Davis at the 13:35 mark versus VCU after he was
hit in the forehead and cut above his right eye. He and Brad Redford scored 15
points each in the loss while Semaj Christon finished with 11 points, seven
assists and 10 turnovers. Travis Taylor, who paces the A-10 on the boards with
8.6 rpg, grabbed nine rebounds but was held to just five points. Despite
Christon's career-high number of turnovers versus VCU, he is still having a
tremendous freshman campaign with averages of 15.0 points and 4.6 assists per
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