R.J. Evans and the Huskies play at Notte Dame on Saturday.
Jan. 11, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men’s basketball team plays its first of two straight games against nationally-ranked opponents when it meets Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind. The game begins at 2 p.m. and will be televised by SNY and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
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The Huskies (11-3, 1-1) are coming off a 99-78 victory over DePaul on Tuesday in Gampel Pavilion, their fifth win in six games. UConn has four players averaging double figures: Shabazz Napier (17.4), Ryan Boatright (16.2), DeAndre Daniels (11.2), and Omar Calhoun (10.6).
The No. 17/16 Irish (14-1, 2-0) defeated Cincinnati, 66-60, on the road last Monday, their 12th straight victory. Senior Jack Cooley leads ND in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounding (11.2 rpg).
With all five starters back from last season’s 22-win team, Notre Dame figured to be set for a big year in 2012-13 and has so far lived up to its billing. The Irish have won 14 of their first 15 games, including their last 12 in a row, stand 2-0 in the BIG EAST, and have jumped to No. 17 in the AP Top 25 and No. 16 in the USA Today poll.
Notre Dame is 11-0 at Purcell Pavilion this year. Leading the Irish is hard-working Cooley, but he has plenty of veteran help, including junior guards Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins, grad student forward Scott Martin, and sophomore swingman Pat Connaughton. Notre Dame leads the country in assists per game (19.5) and ranks second in assist to turnover ratio (1.84).
The Irish are the top-shooting team in the BIG EAST (.514) as well as the top three-point shooting team (.415). They have won their two BIG EAST games, at home against Seton Hall and at Cincinnati, by an average of 12.5 ppg.
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