HARTFORD, Conn. – The UConn men’s basketball team (13-9, 6-4 American) is back in action on Thursday when it hosts conference leader Tulsa (17-6, 10-1 American) at the XL Center in Hartford at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted by ESPN2, and it can also be heard live on the UConn IMG Radio Network. A win against the Golden Hurricane would give the Huskies their third straight conference win and fifth straight victory at home.
Connecticut rallied past Tulane, 62-53, on the road Saturday behind 35 combined points from guards Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) and Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.). Boatright finished with a game-high 18 points, while Purvis scored 11 points in the final 6:30, ending the game with 17 points. Freshman guard Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) was the third Husky to reach double-figures, as he added 11 points to go along with eight rebounds.
Sophomore center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) led the charge on the defensive end, tallying a career-high eight blocks. The Huskies’ 12 blocks against the Green Wave marked a season-high, and Tulane’s one block on the day matched a season-low for a Connecticut opponent. Saturday’s victory, which snapped UConn’s three-game road losing streak, marked the fifth time Connecticut won a game after trailing at half this season.
Tulsa suffered its first conference loss of the season on Saturday, losing to No. 25 SMU, 68-57. The setback also snapped a 12-game winning streak for the Golden Hurricane, who are 7-2 on the road this season. A pair of guards, James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison, both average double-figures to lead the Tulsa offense, while junior Rashad Smith ranks eighth in the conference in rebounds per game (6.4).
The Golden Hurricane rank in the top-four in the conference in both scoring offense (65.9/game) and scoring defense (57.9) in league play, and Tulsa sports the second-best scoring margin (+8.0) among American Athletic schools. They have shot 42.2 percent from the floor this season (31.8 percent from the 3-point line), and they average 66.4 points a game overall this season.
UConn, which has won four its five games in Hartford this year, is 1-1 all-time against Tulsa in a series that dates back to the 1978 season. The Huskies fell to the Golden Hurricane, 66-58, last month (Jan. 13) despite a double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds) from Hamilton.
After tomorrow’s game, Connecticut will face SMU on the road Saturday (Feb. 14). ESPN College GameDay will be at Moody Coliseum in Dallas for the contest, which tips off at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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