CINCINNATI – The UConn men’s basketball team (11-7, 4-2 American) continues conference play on Thursday when it faces Cincinnati (14-5, 5-2 American) on the road at Fifth Third Arena at 8 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN2, and it will also be broadcasted live by the UConn IMG Radio Network. The Huskies, winners of five of their last seven, boast an all-time record of 11-5 against the Bearcats in a series that dates back to 1995. Connecticut defeated Cincinnati, 62-56, earlier this month (Jan. 10) at the XL Center.
UConn moved past USF, 66-53, in Hartford on Sunday behind a career-high 28 points from senior Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) The guard scored 19 points in the second half, including 13 straight for the Huskies after the Bulls cut the Connecticut lead to just two (39-37) with 12 minutes left. Redshirt sophomore guard Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) added 17 points on 4-9 shooting, as he reached double-figures for the seventh time this season. He tallied a career-best eight made free throws on a career-high 12 attempts.
The Huskies continued to shoot well from the 3-point line, finishing the game against the Bulls 8-17 from behind the arc. UConn has shot 50.9 percent (29-57) from the 3-point line over the last three games, and Boatright has made four 3-pointers in each of the last two games. With Sunday’s win, the Huskies improved to 4-1 in Hartford this season.
Cincinnati enters Thursday’s game with one of the best defenses in the country. The Bearcats rank fifth among Division I schools in scoring defense (54.5 points allowed/game), and they have allowed 60 or more points in just seven games this season. American Athletic opponents have averaged just 53.7 points per game against Cincinnati, which also leads the league in free throw percentage (74.6) and steals per game (8.7).
Leading the charge from the free throw line is guard Troy Caupain and Octavius Ellis. The pair leads all American Athletic players in free throw percentage, and they both average just less than 10 points a game. Forward Gary Clark, one of two Cincinnati players with at least 20 steals this year, has averaged a team-best 7.3 rebounds to go along with 7.8 points per game. The Bearcats boast a 11-1 record at home this season, and Cincinnati is 3-3 all-time in home games against the Huskies.
After Thursday’s game, UConn will return to action on Sunday on the road against Houston. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen on CBS Sports Network and heard on the UConn IMG Radio Network.