HOUSTON – The UConn men’s basketball team (11-8, 4-3 American) rounds out its two-game road trip against the University of Houston (8-12, 0-8 American) on Sunday at the Hofheinz Pavilion at 3 p.m. (ET). The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network, and it will also be broadcasted by the UConn IMG Radio Network. The Huskies, who sport a 1-2 record in conference road games this season, are 3-1 all-time against the Cougars in a series that dates back to 1999.
Connecticut fell to Cincinnati, 70-58, on the road at Fifth Third Arena on Thursday night despite a game-high 22 points from guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.). The senior connected on five 3-pointers in the second half to help the Huskies get within eight (66-58) with 1:35 left, but that was as close as UConn would get. Boatright’s effort brought his 3-point total over the last three games to 13, and his 45.9 shooting percentage from behind the arc in conference play currently ranks third.
The Huskies struggled against one of the nation’s top defenses, committing 13 first-half turnovers and 17 giveaways for the game. The Bearcats, led by guard Troy Caupain (20 points), scored 15 points off of turnovers and finished the game with nine steals. Freshman guard Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) and sophomore center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) joined Boatright in double-figures for a Connecticut team that shot just 32.8 percent, its worst mark since its loss to Texas on Nov. 30, 2014.
The Cougars, who enter Sunday’s contest winless in conference play this season, defeated Rice, 59-48, on Wednesday to snap an eight-game losing streak. Three Houston players reached double-figures in the win, including forward Danrad Knowles (10 points). Knowles ranks second on the team in scoring (11.1) behind guard Jherrod Stiggers (14.9), and his 5.9 rebounds per game are good for the third-best mark among Houston players.
Houston’s 8.4 3-pointers a game top all American Athletic schools, and the Cougars rank seventh in the league in scoring (66.0 points/game) and 10th in field goal percentage (38.9). Houston sports a -12.2 scoring margin in league play, and five of its eight conference losses have come by at least 10 points. The Cougars are 6-5 at this season, with three of the losses coming to American Athletic opponents.
UConn split against Houston last season, as each team won at home. Boatright averaged 17 points in the two games, while Brimah finished with four blocks in Connecticut’s win over the Cougars on Jan. 30, 2014. Each of UConn’s two previous away games against Houston have been decided by six points or less.
After Sunday’s game, the Huskies return home to host East Carolina on Wednesday (Feb. 4) at Gampel Pavilion. The contest, which tips off at 7 p.m., can be seen on ESPNU.
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