Jan. 17, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - Just two days after dropping No. 17 Memphis at FedExForum, the University of Connecticut men's basketball team is faced with another big challenge when it hosts the defending national champion No. 18 Louisville Cardinals at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 18th at 9 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN and can be heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
UConn (14-3) earned its second victory over an AP Top-25 team on Thursday when the Huskies defeated Memphis, 83-73, in front of a hostile crowd of 18,309. Forward DeAndre Daniels sparked the Husky offense, contributing 23 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in 38 minutes. Guard Lasan Kromah added 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field as Huskies out-scored the Tigers by 11 points in the second half and held a 36-to-30 advantage in points in the paint. Memphis opened the game hot from beyond the arc, connecting on five of its first eight attempts, but was held to just 2-9 from three-point range in the final 20 minutes.
UConn and Louisville first met in the 2000-01 season, a game which ended in a 83-71 Husky victory. Through the first 14 games of the series, the Cardinals hold an 8-to-6 edge, including a six of the last eight. Last season, the Cardinals defeated the Huskies 73-58 at the XL Center on Jan. 14. UConn carried a six point lead into halftime but was unable to slow the formidable Louisville offense in the second half, allowing their conference rivals to connect on 17 of their 28 shots.
Louisville is off to a 15-3 start, including a 4-1 record in the American Athletic Conference. Senior guard Russ Smith heads the Cardinal's offensive attack as the veteran averages 18.1 points per game. Senior Luke Hancock (10.5) and sophomore Montrezl Harrell (11.7) are also averaging double-digit points for 13th-year head coach Rick Pitino.
Louisville and UConn rank ninth and 10th, respectively in winning percentage over the past 13 years. The Cardinals boast a 310-11 (.740) record while UConn holds a 297-112 (.730) mark.
UConn has been tough to beat in Gampel Pavilion since the building opened in 1990, compiling a 78-19 record against conference foes. This season, the Huskies are 5-0 in their on-campus home facility.
Gampel doors are set to open at 7:30 p.m. All fans are encouraged to wear blue for a "Blue Out" and will receive a free "Olliewood" t-shirt courtesy of AAA insurance. Fans are reminded that there will be no ESPN College GameDay morning show, although students are encouraged to enter the building when gates open in the evening. For students returning to campus following winter break, dorms are open as of 9 a.m. on January 17th.