Feb. 8, 2014
ORLANDO, Fla. – Coming off a hard-fought battle with No. 7 Cincinnati, the No.22 University of Connecticut men’s basketball team returns to action when it faces conference foe UCF at CFE Arena in Orlando on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN2 and will be broadcasted live on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
UConn (17-5) most recently dropped a 63-58 contest to the Bearcats on Thursday, despite a team-high 16 points from senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) The Huskies struggled from the field in the second half, connecting on just eight of their 25 attempts in the final 20 minutes. Sean Kilpatrick led the charge for the Bearcats, scoring 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting and adding 12 rebounds.
Napier is climbing the record books at Connecticut, as he has matched Jerome Dyson (2006-10) for No. 13 on UConn’s scoring list with 1,630 career points and sits just three points behind No. 12 Mike McKay’s (1978-82) mark of 1,633. With three assists against the Bearcats, Napier upped his career total to 574, which is fourth-most in program history, and moves to within 45 helpers of current UConn head coach Kevin Ollie’s (1991-95) total of 619.
The Huskies will look to rebound against a UCF team that has dropped seven straight games and owns just one win in nine conference battles. In their first meeting of the season on Jan. 11 at Gampel Pavilion, the Huskies cruised to an 84-61 victory over the Knights, paced by a career-high 20 points from freshman center Amida Brimah(Accra, Ghana). UConn now boasts a 4-1 all-time record over UCF, including a 1-0 record in Orlando.
Despite the recent stretch, UCF holds an 8-5 record at CFE Arena in 2013-14. Isiah Sykes has been UCF’s most reliable player through the team’s first 20 games, leading the team in scoring (15.6), rebounding (7.2), and assists (3.6). In nine American Athletic Conference games, Sykes is averaging 17.7 points and 9.2 rebounds.
The Knights have struggled defensively in conference play, allowing opponents to shoot 48.8 percent from the field and tally 77.4 points per game. In nine conference games, the Huskies are connecting on 44.7 percent of their shots, including 36.2 percent from three-point range.