Feb. 4, 2014
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Cincinnati, Ohio - Playing in its first game in a week, the No. 22 University of Connecticut men's basketball team will face one of its toughest challenges of the season when its travels to Fifth Third Arena for a conference showdown with No. 7 Cincinnati on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN and will be broadcasted live on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
UConn (17-4) returned to the AP Top-25 after routing Houston, 80-43, on Jan. 30 at Gampel Pavilion. Four Huskies reached double-figures points, led by senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) who connected for 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. The Husky defense locked down the Cougars, holding them to just 27.3 percent shooting from the floor, including just 2-of-18 from three-point range. The Huskies headed into the locker room with a 29-point lead after amassing 10 points in the final 1:35 of the first half.
Currently, the American Athletic Conference boasts four teams in the AP Top-25, which ties the ACC for second most among national leagues, trailing only the Big Ten (5). The Huskies are 2-1 against ranked opponents this season and 119-93 (.561) vs. ranked foes since the start of the 1989-90 season.
Cincinnati (21-2) is undefeated in The American (10-0) and riding a 14-game unbeaten streak. The Bearcats have been dominant at home, compiling a 15-0 record. The Bearcats are paced by senior guard Sean Kilpatrick who leads the team in scoring with 19.4 points per game. Cincinnati's defense has been the key to its early success as it allows just 56.7 points per game and has held opponents to under 60 points in 12 contests this season.
Thursday's showdown will be the 13th
-ever meeting between the two programs with the Huskies holding an 8-4 edge. In 2012-13, the teams split a pair of meetings, with each taking home a victory on their home court. In the last meeting on Mar. 3rd
, 2013, Ryan Boatright
(Aurora, Ill.) led all scorers with 22 points, including 14 free-throws in a 61-56 Cincinnati victory.
Through his first 51 games at the helm of the Huskies, head coach Kevin Ollie boasts 37 wins and a .725 winning percentage, which is the top mark for any UConn coach with more than 20 games coached. Ollie's squad holds a 3-2 record in away games this season and stands at 7-7 over the past two years.