PHILADELPHIA – The UConn men’s basketball team (17-12, 10-7 American) wraps up regular season play on Saturday (2 p.m. ET) on the road against Temple (21-9, 12-5 American) at the Liacouras Center. The game can be seen on ESPN2, and it will also be broadcasted live by the UConn IMG Radio Network. The Huskies sport a 6-4 all-time record against the Owls, and Connecticut is 1-2 in road games against Temple.
UConn saw its seven-game home winning streak snapped on Thursday night, as the Huskies lost to Memphis, 54-43. Connecticut led, 53-52, with just over two minutes remaining, but a bucket by Memphis forward Shaq Goodwin with eight seconds left gave the Tigers the lead. UConn was unable to answer on its last possession, as senior guard Ryan Boatright’s (Aurora, Ill.) shot rimmed out.
Boatright and freshman guard Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) combined for 30 points in the loss, while sophomore center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) finished one block shy of his career-high (8). UConn shot a season-low 27.8 percent for the floor and connected on just three of its 10 3-point attempts. With the loss, Connecticut dropped to 1-6 in games decided by four points or less this season.
Thursday’s win moved the Tigers back into fifth place in the American Athletic Conference. UConn can still finish at the fifth spot and secure a bye in next week’s conference tournament with a win on Saturday and a Memphis loss to Cincinnati this weekend. The Tigers hold the tiebreaker over the Huskies due to their head-to-head wins.
The Owls, who have won nine of their last 11 games, defeated ECU, 70-56, on the road on Thursday night behind 16 points from guard Will Cummings. The senior leads all Temple players with 13.8 points per game, while Quenton DeCosey (12.2) and Jesse Morgan (11.6) round out the remaining Owls to average double-figures on the year. Junior forward Jaylen Bond leads all American Athletic players with 8.4 rebounds per game for a Temple team that ranks first in the league with 38.2 boards per contest.
In league play, Temple sports the fifth-best scoring offense (63.5) and the fourth-best scoring defense (58.4). The Owls have shot just 38.8 percent from the floor against conference opponents, and they are ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (30.8) in league play this season. Temple boasts a record of 13-2 at home this season with its only losses coming to Tulsa (Jan. 10) and SMU (Jan. 14).
The Huskies fell to Temple, 57-53, in their only overtime game of the season back on Dec. 31, 2014. Hamilton recorded a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds), while Brimah chipped in 12 points.
After Saturday’s game, the Huskies will begin play at the American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship (March 12-15) at the XL Center in Hartford. UConn will be back in action on either Thursday (Opening Round) or Friday (Quarterfinals), depending on where the Huskies finish after this weekend.