Jan. 20, 2014
STORRS, Conn.- The University of Connecticut men’s basketball team returns to the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. for the first time in over a month when it hosts the Temple Owls in a conference battle set for Tuesday, Jan. 21st at 7 p.m. The game can be seen live on CBS Sports Network and will be broadcasted live on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
UConn (14-4) most recently fell to then-ranked No. 18 Louisville, 76-64, at Gampel Pavilion on Saturday night. Senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) scored a career-high 30 points in the losing effort, while Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) added 10 points and a team-high three assists. The Huskies trailed by six points at halftime and were unable to overcome a late charge by Louisville guard Russ Smith, who tallied 18 of his 23 points in the final 20 minutes.
Tuesday’s showdown will mark UConn’s first American Athletic Conference tilt at its off-campus home facility. Connecticut has enjoyed success at the XL Center, compiling a 95-65 (.594) against BIG EAST rivals.
As a team, the Huskies currently rank No. 4 in the nation in free-throw shooting, hitting 77.2 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe. Individually, senior forward Niels Giffey ranks second in the country with a .561 percentage from beyond the arc and Napier ranks 21st with 5.9 assists per game.
UConn and Temple have not met on the hardwood since the 1964-65 season, a game which ended in 71-60 Husky victory. Overall, the Huskies hold a slight 4-to-3 advantage over the Owls, including a 3-0 record at home.
This season, Temple stands at 5-11 (0-5 The American) and has dropped six straight contests. Starting guard Dalton Pepper leads the Owls’ offensive attack, averaging 17.3 points per contest. Junior forward Anthony Lee has been a force on the boards this season, pulling in 9.9 rebounds per game. As a team, the Owls are shooting .448 from the field but are connecting on just 37.2 percent of their shots from three-point range.