Sunday , Feb , 25 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Striving for perfection in Conference USA

Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – The seventh-ranked Memphis Tigers continue
to plow through their Conference USA schedule, and they will attempt to
avoid an upset this afternoon as the Houston Cougars come to town.

Houston rode a two-game skid into Wednesday’s home clash with Tulane,
but the Cougars were able to score a much-needed 78-70 victory. They are
now 9-4 in league play and hope to improve on a 4-7 true road record.

As for Memphis, it has run off 16 straight wins and is a perfect 13-0 in C-
USA action. The Tigers have not lost in more than two months and are coming
off a 99-63 romp over Rice. Clearly, the goal of the team should be to
earn a top seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Memphis recorded a 79-69 victory over Houston earlier this season, and
the Tigers own a 16-10 advantage in the all-time series.

Robert McKiver and Oliver Lafayette scored 24 points apiece to lead the
Houston Cougars to their eight-point victory over Tulane on Wednesday.
Jahmar Thorpe pitched in 12 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, which won
the game despite shooting 39.1 percent from the floor. The Cougars only
turned the ball over seven times and forced 20 giveaways. McKiver is
averaging 18.2 ppg this season despite his 36.9 percent shooting from the
floor. Lafayette checks in with 14.6 ppg on 34.5 percent shooting, and it is
hard to believe that the team is five games over .500 in league play despite
the fact that the two top scorers shoot so inefficiently. Thorpe adds 11.0
ppg to the lineup. Houston is being outrebounded by five boards per game.

Chris Douglas-Roberts is the top offensive performer for Memphis, as he
is netting 14.9 ppg on 54.2 percent shooting from the floor. Jeremy Hunt
checks in with 13.9 ppg, and he is shooting 41.8 percent from three-point
range. The third and final double-digit scorer for the club is Robert Dozier
with his 10.7 ppg. Another individual to keep an eye on is Joey Dorsey, as
the big man is scoring 8.4 ppg to go along with 9.7 rpg and 73 blocks.
Memphis is racking up 80.5 ppg while limiting opponents to just 62.4 ppg
on 38.2 percent shooting from the field. Willie Kemp scored 20 points
against Rice on Thursday, as he paced five double-digit scorers. The Tigers
connected on 55.1 percent of their field goal attempts, including a 15-of-32
showing from behind the arc.

HOUSTON MEMPHIS