March 4, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - The No. 19 University of Connecticut men's basketball team will play its final regular season home game at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion against Rutgers on Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPNU with Jason Benetti and Tim Welsh on call and will also be broadcasted live on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
The Huskies (23-6) are coming off a hard-fought victory over then-ranked No. 11 Cincinnati on Saturday. UConn held the Bearcats to just 13 total field goals and a .271 shooting percentage to earn a 51-45 victory over its conference rival, marking the first time the Huskies have won a game scoring less than 52 points since a 46-40 victory vs. Villanova on Feb. 11, 2002. Senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) finished with a game-high 18 points and pulled in 11 rebounds in the victory. Connecticut scored its final 10 points from the free-throw line, finishing with 18 made attempts from the charity stripe.
With victories over Cincinnati and USF, UConn re-entered the AP Top-25 after a one week absence, checking in at No. 19. The Huskies are one of five American Athletic Conference teams in the rankings, joining Louisville (11), Cincinnati (15), SMU (18), and Memphis (20). UConn also jumped back into the USA Today poll, ranking No. 19 with 170 points.
The Huskies and Scarlet Knights have a storied history that dates back to the 1952-53 season, with the Huskies holding a 36-14 all-time edge. Connecticut has gotten the best of the series in recent years, taking 21 of the last 23 games, including 10 straight at home. All-time, UConn is 19-3 vs. Rutgers at home and 19-2 as conference rivals.
Napier scored a game-high 26 points in UConn's 82-71 victory over Rutgers on Jan. 25. Freshman center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) notched 10 points and pulled in eight boards in the Huskies' win.
In 2013-14, the Scarlet Knights are 11-18 overall but sport just a 5-11 record in the American Athletic Conference and a 1-9 record on the road. The Rutgers offensive attack is headed by junior guard Myles Mack who averages 15.3 points and 4.2 assists per game. Junior forward Kadeem Jack has been a force on the boards this season, pulling in 6.9 rebounds per game to go along with 14.6 points.
In conference games, Rutgers is averaging 69.1 points per game but allowing opponents to score 77.2 points and shoot .458 from the field.