STORRS, Conn. – The UConn men’s basketball team (17-11, 10-6 American) plays its final home game of the season on Thursday (9 p.m. ET) against conference foe Memphis (17-12, 9-7) at Gampel Pavilion. The contest can be seen on ESPN2, and it will also be broadcasted live by the UConn IMG Radio Network.
The Huskies, winners of three straight, will celebrate Senior Night on Thursday, as five members of the team will be honored in a ceremony prior to the game. Manager Colin Oehrle and graduate head manager Nick Blanco will be recognized, while guards Dan Guest, Pat Lenehan (Cheshire, Conn.) and Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) represent the three player honorees. Boatright currently ranks No. 9 on UConn’s all-time scoring list with 1,689 points.
UConn knocked off No. 21 SMU, 81-73, on Sunday in Hartford behind a career-high 28 points from guard Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.). The redshirt sophomore connected on a career-best nine field goals, while Boatright and freshman guard Daniel Hamilton (Los Angles, Calif.) each finished in double-figures. Connecticut shot 9-20 from the 3-point line, and UConn’s 81 points against the Mustangs marked a season-high in league play.
Sunday’s win gave the Huskies their first-ever win over SMU and their first victory over a ranked opponent this season. The result also extended UConn’s home winning streak to seven games and improved Connecticut’s record to 6-1 in games played in Hartford.
Memphis enters Thursday’s contest on a two-game skid after losing to SMU (Feb. 26) and Tulsa (Feb. 28) last week. The Tigers rank second among American Athletic schools in scoring offense (67.6), and they are fifth in scoring margin (+5.2) and sixth in scoring defense (62.4). Sophomore forward Austin Nichols leads all Memphis players with 13.3 points per contest, while forward Shaq Goodwin ranks second on the team in scoring (9.1) and first in rebounds (7.0).
The Tigers have averaged 66.9 points in league play this season, and their 3-point percentage defense (.300) and blocked shots per game (6.6) top all conference schools. Memphis, which sports a record of 4-4 on the road this season, is 2-3 all-time against the Huskies. Thursday will be the first game at Gampel Pavilion for the Tigers, who lost their only road game against UConn last season in Hartford.
Connecticut fell to Memphis, 75-72, earlier this year (Feb. 19) despite a career-high 25 points from Hamilton. The freshman guard also recorded his fifth career double-double in the setback.
After Thursday, the Huskies will conclude regular season play on Saturday (2 p.m. ET) on the road against Temple. The game can be seen on ESPN2.
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