What do the Memphis Tigers dream of when they take a little Tigers snooze? Perhaps it is an opportunity to maul the No. 19 ranked Florida Gators Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. All speculation aside, the Tigers were definitely sleep-walking Friday night against Arkansas-Little Rock.
It is really hard to blame the Tigers for overlooking their opponent, given their early season success and the Trojans’ lack of success. The Trojans are 1-4 on the road and have been outscored by a combined 78 points; the Tigers have yet to lost a home game.
What Memphis did not account for in their preparation for the Trojans was shooting under 30 percent in the first half. The Tigers average 49.4 percent from the field on the year. Memphis’ uncharacteristic scoring drought put the Tigers in unfamiliar territory, trailing at halftime.
Memphis is still Memphis, and they were able to overcome a seven point first half deficit to gut out a 73-59 victory. It was not easy, but the Tigers were able to burrow their way out of a gigantic first half hole.
Michael Dixon Jr. was the biggest reason for the Tigers falling into a shooting slump. Dixon is arguably the best shooter on the Tigers, but was not on Friday night. The three point specialist was ice cold from everywhere except the free throw line. All of Dixon’s points (four) were all at the charity stripe.
A 0-7 performance from Dixon under normal circumstances would spell doom for the Tigers. His teammates were able to pick him up tonight, but can Memphis survive another cold night from Dixon against the likes of a Florida team?