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STORRS, Conn. - The UConn men's basketball team looks to 2017 for a fresh start as the American Athletic Conference campaign rolls on with a matchup against Memphis on Thursday night at 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2.
The Huskies (5-8, 0-2 American), currently on a three-game losing skid, will have a chance to snap the streak against the Tigers - a team they beat three times in 2015-16. The game can also be heard on the UConn/IMG Radio Network.
UConn beat Memphis last season in the American Athletic Conference championship game, 72-58, in Orlando, Fla. Rodney Purvis scored 12 points in the game, one of five Huskies in double-figures that day.
Recently on New Year's Eve, the Huskies dropped a nail-biting overtime game to Tulsa on the road. Sophomore guard Jalen Adams recorded 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the 61-59 loss.
Two of the past three contests for UConn have been decided in overtime, as four of its losses this season have come by four points or fewer. The Huskies have also shown clutch capabilities, holding three wins by three points or less.
UConn leads the all-time series with Memphis, 6-3, and is 6-2 against the Tigers since joining the American in 2013.
The Tigers (10-4, 0-1 American), led by head coach Tubby Smith, are coming off a 70-54 win over South Carolina on Dec. 30 and improved their home record to 8-2 at the FedExForum this season. Memphis dropped its first conference game to SMU, 58-54, on Dec. 27.
Sophomore guard Dedric Lawson is the team leader in points (20.6) and rebounds (11.1) per game, averaging a double-double. He leads the American in scoring and is second on the glass.
Memphis boasts the highest scoring offense (81.1) in the league and has a conference-best 18.1 assists per game. It ranks second in offensive rebounding with 12.7 per contest.
BY THE NUMBERS
6.0: Blocks per game for the Huskies, the most of any team in the American. Senior center Amida Brimah leads the conference with 3.0 per game.
5: Jalen Adams ranks in the top five in points and assists per game in the conference among all players. He is fourth in scoring (16.8) and first in assists (5.5).
3: Huskies averaging double-figures in the first two games of conference play. Adams (18.0), Purvis (12.0) and Vital (12.0) have led the team in scoring.