Dec. 30, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The No. 17 University of Connecticut men's basketball team begins play in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference when it takes on the Houston Cougars on Tuesday, Dec. 31st at 9 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on ESPN2 and will be broadcasted live by the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
UConn (11-1) is riding a two-game winning streak, most recently having defeated Eastern Washington, 82-55, at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. Five Husky players recorded double-digit points in the win, including Phillip Nolan who scored a career-high 11 points. The UConn defense held Eastern Washington to just 23 points at half, marking a season-best.
Tuesday's match-up marks the second road game for the Huskies who took over an 82-70 victory over Washington on Dec. 22 in their first road test. Over the past 10 seasons, UConn has posted a 55-47 record in true road games, including a 46-40 record in conference play.
Houston and UConn have met just twice, with the last meeting coming in the 2000-01 season. Connecticut owns a 2-0 all-time record against the Cougars, scoring at least 72 points in both contests.
This season, Houston is out to an 8-5 start and has won two of its last three games. The Cougars are led by junior forward TaShawn Thomas who is tops on the team in scoring, rebounds, blocks, and steals. Thomas was named to American Athletic Preseason All-Conference second team this fall.
UConn currently sits at No. 17 in the AP Top-25 poll, joining Louisville (14) and Memphis (18) from The American. The Huskies' hot start to 2013-14 represents the 16th time in the last 24 years that the team has opened the season with at least 11 wins its first 12 games.
UConn head coach Kevin Ollie looks to finish the month of December on a high note, as the second-year coach has compiled a 7-2 overall record in the final month of the calendar year.