DALLAS, Texas – The UConn men’s basketball team (14-9, 7-4 American) will go for its fourth straight conference win on Saturday when it faces No. 25 SMU (20-5, 11-2 American) at Moody Coliseum at 9 p.m. ESPN’s College GameDay will be in Dallas for the game, providing coverage of all of the day’s college basketball news up until tip-off on ESPN. The game will also be broadcasted live by the UConn IMG Radio Network.
The Huskies cruised past Tulsa, 70-45, on Thursday night behind senior guard Ryan Boatright’s (Aurora, Ill.) fifth 20-point outing in the last six games. UConn’s 70 points marked a season-high in league play, while Tulsa’s 45 points were the lowest total for the Golden Hurricane this season. Boatright finished with a game-high 23 points on 8-14 shooting, and freshman guard Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) tallied his fourth career double-double, recording 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Connecticut’s defense continued to shine on Thursday with sophomores Terrence Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) leading the way. Tulsa guard James Woodard, who was guarded by Samuel for much of the game, finished with zero points for the first time this season after coming into the contest averaging 14.9 points a game. Brimah swatted seven shots against the Golden Hurricane, bringing his total to 15 blocks over the last two games. His four blocks per game in league play rank first in the conference, and he is second among American Athletic players overall in blocks per game (3.2).
The Mustangs enter Saturday’s showdown with wins in 10 of their last 11 games. Their only loss during that stretch came to Cincinnati on Feb. 5, and SMU’s 10.3 scoring margin in league play ranks first in the conference. They are first in scoring offense (68.8) and second in scoring defense (59.3) overall among league schools, and their 7.4 rebounding margin also stands as the best mark in the conference.
Four SMU players average double-figures on the year, including redshirt junior guard Nic Moore, who has scored 14.6 points per game this season. Senior center Yanick Moreira is second on the team in scoring (11.6) and his 6.8 rebounds per game rank first on SMU and seventh among conference players. SMU, which is 13-2 at home this season, has shot 48.4 percent from the floor and 36.2 percent from the 3-point line on the year.
UConn is 0-3 all-time against SMU in a series that dates back to 1965, with two of the three losses coming by less than 10 points. After Saturday, the Huskies will continue conference road play on Thursday against Memphis. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m., and the game will be broadcasted by either ESPN or ESPN2.