Jan. 29, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - In its first rematch of the 2013-14 season, the University of Connecticut men's basketball team will host the Houston Cougars on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 9 p.m. at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. The game can be seen live on CBS Sports Network and will be broadcasted live on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
The Huskies (16-4) have scored at least 80 points in four of their past five games, most recently topping Rutgers, 82-71, on Saturday. Three Huskies reached double-figure points, headed by 26 from senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) who tallied 20 points in the final 20 minutes. Connecticut's defense buckled down in the second half, holding Rutgers to just 32.0 percent from the floor, as the Huskies outscored the Scarlet Knights, 20-to-12, in the final 8:55 of the contest.
On Jan. 27th, for the third time this season, Napier was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week as he averaged 26.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in wins over Temple and Rutgers. Currently, Napier ranks 23rd in the nation with 5.9 assists per game. Also joining UConn's star guard on the national landscape is freshman center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana), who ranks 34th with 2.6 blocks per game and junior forward DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.), who sits at No. 31 with a 47.8 percentage from beyond the arc.
The Cougars took home a 75-71 victory when the two teams last met on New Year's Eve, led by 23 points from TaShawn Thomas. In a series that dates back to the 1999-00 season, the Huskies hold a slim 2-to-1 edge, including a victory at Gampel on Nov. 30, 2000.
Houston enters the matchup with an 11-9 overall record, but has dropped four of its last five. In seven conference games, Houston is shooting .434 overall and .387 from three-point range. Thomas leads the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks, and steals through the first 20 games of his junior campaign and will be the focal point for the Husky defense that surrenders just 66.0 points per game.