March 14, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The No. 21 University of Connecticut men's basketball team will challenge No. 13 Cincinnati in the Semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Championship on Friday, March 14 at 9 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on ESPN2 with Dave O'Brien and Doris Burke on the call and will also be broadcasted live on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
The Huskies (25-7) advanced past Memphis, 72-53, in Thursday's quarterfinal game at the FedExForum. Senior forward Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany) notched a career-high 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting and also connected on six 3-point attempts. American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) scored 11 points and moved into sole possession of sixth on UConn's all-time scoring list with 1,801 career points. The Husky defense stifled the Tigers, holding them to just 14-of-53 (26.4 percent) from the floor and forced Memphis into 12 turnovers.
The Huskies and Bearcats have met twice this season with each team taking a victory on its home court. On March 1, UConn earned a 51-45 victory over Cincinnati at the XL Center, holding the Bearcats to just 27.1 percent shooting from the floor. Overall, UConn owns a 9-5 all-time series edge over its conference foes.
Cincinnati survived Thursday's Quarterfinal match with UCF, narrowly downing the Knights, 61-58. Redshirt-senior guard Sean Kilpatrick scored a team-high 21 points, marking the 22nd consecutive game he has reached double-figures. The 6-4 guard has been Cincinnati's leading scorer in the team's last 18 games.
With its win on Thursday, Connecticut earned its 13th-ever 25-win season and first under current head coach Kevin Ollie. Earlier in the season, UConn extended its streak of 20-win seasons to four straight and 15 of the last 17 seasons.