Feb. 3, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's basketball team hosts Southern Methodist University in American Athletic Conference action tomorrow evening at Gampel Pavilion. Tipoff is set for 7pm with televised coverage provided by SNY. The duo of Eric Frede and Meg Culmo will have the call and Kerith Burke will cover the sidelines. Fans unable to attend the game listen over the radio by tuning into the UConn/IMG Radio network or stream the contest online via ESPN3.
A reminder to fans that kids 13 years old or younger can gain free admission to the game by bringing a paper or quiz on which they received an `A' letter grade. Accompanying family members will be eligible for $10 tickets. Remember to bring your `A' game!
UConn (23-0, 10-0 American) returns to the friendly confines of Gampel Pavilion with an unblemished through 23 games. The Huskies picked up a pair of road wins against Temple and Cincinnati last week, dominating with their offense in an 81-53 decision over Temple and playing suffocating defense on Saturday in an 86-29 victory over Cincinnati.
The Huskies will mark SMU's (14-7, 5-5 American) third ranked opponent this season after facing Tennessee on Nov. 29 and Louisville one month later. SMU dropped both decisions but enter Tuesday's matchup on a three-game win-streak that began with a win at Houston on Jan. 25. The game will mark the first meeting between the two programs.
UConn boasts significant offensive firepower this season, averaging 84.5 points per game as a team. The Huskies have the American Athletic Conference's second-leading scorer in Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.), who sports a 19.2 points per game average. Also highlighting the conference leaders are Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) and Bria Hartley (North Babylon, N.Y.). Jefferson tops the conference leaderboards in assists (123 total, 5.3 per game) and assist/turnover ratio (3.4) Hartley grabs second-best in the conference behind her teammate, averaging 4.7 assists per contest and boasting a 2.6 assist/turnover ratio, providing UConn with the best statistical backcourt in the American.
Connecticut showcased its offensive prowess with 93 points against Temple last Tuesday evening in Philadelphia. The Huskies bested the Owls by a 37 point margin, which perhaps in large part can be attributed to the career-high 37 points Breanna Stewart posted that evening. Though the offense was firing on all cylinders, the Huskies' defense did not want for performance last week. UConn held Cincinnati to 29 total points and 23 percent shooting on Saturday afternoon in Ohio. Stewart added a trio of blocks and three steals to her day, while Bria Hartley tied her career-high with six thefts. UConn leads the nation in blocked shots with 198 and ranks second in the conference with 244 steals.
Tuesday's game marks the beginning of a two-game homestand at Gampel culminating in a rematch of the 2013 National Championship game when the Huskies host No. 4 Louisville on Feb. 9. Sunday's game against the Cardinals will also serve as a fundraiser for the Play4Kay initiative to raise money towards fighting cancer. Click here for more information on how you can donate.