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Memphis Tigers vs Loyola Greyhounds Preview

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Tigers are back on track after defeating the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles last night. During the game, they tested out a new starting lineup and gained some production from more players.

Junior guard Geron Johnson was inserted into the starting lineup and provided the defensive pressure the Tigers have been lacking on the perimeter. His primary task was to shut down Oral Roberts leading scorer and three point shooting threat, Warren Niles.

Johnson did exactly that. Niles only scored two points and was not able to make any three pointers.

Now it is known who on the Tigers squad can shut down a three point shooter. If a team has more than one three point shooting threat, Memphis may still have a problem.

Junior guard Antonio Barton finally had a game he is capable of having while leading the team in scoring with 17 against the Golden Eagles. This is the perfect time of the season for him to get hot heading into conference play.

The Loyola Greyhounds checked in this week at No. 20 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, the Greyhounds’ fifth-straight week in the poll. It is the highest ranking of the season for the team after spending three weeks at 21 and one at 22.

They have a record of 9-4 and lost their last contest on Friday against the Bucknell Bison by 20 points.

The Greyhounds are a defensive oriented team. Heading into the game against Bucknell, Loyola was tops in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 59.2 points per game. The Greyhounds have held more than half their opponents this year to fewer than 60 points.

Loyola was also tops in the league in field-goal percentage defense, limiting the opposition to 38.8-percent from the field.

If Loyola is able to slow the game down and force the Tigers to execute in the half court set, look for this to be a low scoring battle. If the Tigers are able to create offense from their defense, look for the Tigers to dominate the game.

Tipoff is 7:00pm on Dec. 30 at the FedExForum in Memphis, TN.

Patosha Jeffery is the Memphis Tigers Featured Columnist at Rant Sports. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @patoshajeffery and add her Google + to your circles for all of her latest articles and thoughts.