Radio: UConn/IMG Radio Network / WTIC 1080 AM
Audio Stream: TuneIn.com
Live Stats: Tulane
STORRS, Conn. – Coming off a strong performance in a 62-53 win over UCF on Wednesday night, the UConn men’s basketball team heads to New Orleans for a Saturday afternoon matchup with Tulane at the Devlin Fieldhouse in American Athletic Conference play.
Tip-off between the Huskies (9-7, 2-2 American) and Green Wave (11-5, 2-2 American) is set for 1 p.m. ET, with ESPNews and the UConn/IMG Radio Network broadcasting the game. It is the start of a two-game road trip for UConn.
Two straight wins in league play lead the Huskies into Saturday, after home wins against ECU and UCF that snapped a four-game losing skid. Sophomore guard Christian Vital has averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 steals in the last two games.
Junior guard Jalen Adams surpassed the 1,000-point mark against the Knights, becoming the 50th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points and the first since guard Rodney Purvis in the 2016-17 season. He is scoring 18.5 points per game this season, the second-best mark in the conference.
UConn’s stifling defense held UCF to just 53 points – a season-low for opponents – and a mere 36.5-percent shooting clip from the floor. The Huskies forced 15 turnovers, led by four steals from Vital, and scored 20 points off UCF’s mistakes.
Over the past two games, the Huskies have a +7.0 scoring margin and +3.0 rebounding margin. In conference play this season, Adams is averaging team-highs in points (19.5), rebounds (7.3) and assists (6.0) throughout four contests.
UConn is 5-0 all-time against Tulane, including a 78-68 win against the Green Wave last season on Jan. 28, 2017. The series dates back to 2015.
After a 6-25 season last year, Tulane equaled that win total in this season’s first seven games. The Green Wave already has compiled 11 wins and is vastly improved. Tulane is shooting .465 overall and a solid .375 from three-point range.
The Green Wave has a sparkling 8-1 record at home, while UConn is 0-3 on the road. Leading Tulane’s resurgence is junior Melvin Frazier, leading the Green Wave in scoring (17.6) and second in rebounding (6.5). Senior Cam Reynolds is second in scoring (16.3), leads in rebounding (6.5) and is the top three-point threat.
DEFENSE STEPPING UP
The Huskies not only held UCF to a season-low in points (53) for an opponent, but also a season-low in points for a first half (21) – which helped them gain a nine-point lead at the intermission against the Knights. When UConn allows less than 70 points this season, it holds a 7-0 record, including a 2-0 mark in the conference.
Trips to Tulane (Jan. 13) and Memphis (Jan. 16) remain before a showdown with old Big East foe and currently the top-ranked team in the country, Villanova. The Huskies and Wildcats meet on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the XL Center for a noon tip. Tickets are available HERE.