Feb. 20, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men's basketball team will play host to Cincinnati Thursday in the first of two meetings against the Bearcats in a nine-day span. The Huskies' final game of the season at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., will begin at 7 p.m. and be televised on ESPN and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
UConn (17-7 overall, 7-5 BIG EAST) is coming off a 70-61 home loss to Villanova, which snapped a two-game winning streak. The Huskies are led by junior guard Shabazz Napier (16.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.7 apg) and sophomore guard Ryan Boatright (15.4 ppg, 4.2 apg).
Also averaging double figures are freshman Omar Calhoun (11.5) and sophomore DeAndre Daniels (10.7). Cincinnati (19-7, 7-6), coming off a 66-55 loss at Georgetown Friday, is led in scoring by Sean Kilpatrick (18.0 ppg) and Cashmere Wright (13.3 ppg).
The always-rugged Bearcats have become a perennial contender in the BIG EAST, especially after last season's first-ever appearance in the BIG EAST tourney's championship game and advancement to the NCAA Sweet 16, but they have been somewhat up-and-down in league play this year. It looked as if Cincinnati had hit its stride in mid-January, winning five of six league games, but the Bearcats have since dropped three of their last four.
Still, the high-scoring backcourt of Kilpatrick and Wright is one of the best in the league, while seniors JaQuon Parker and Cheikh Mbodj and junior Justin Jackson are the basis for the Bearcats' +7.4 rebounding advantage per game. Cincinnati has plenty of depth, with 10 players seeing at least 10 minutes per game. The Bearcats, who are holding BIG EAST opponents to 59.6 points per game, own a 5-2 overall record on the road, 4-2 in league road games.
UConnHuskies.com will once again host a live chat during the game. For information, please see below.