College Basketball

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(17) Connecticut (11-2) at SMU (10-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 2 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Moody Coliseum (8,300) -- Dallas, Texas. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: UConn 7-1, SMU 6-0. Away Record: UConn 1-1, SMU 2-2. Neutral Record: UConn3-0, SMU 2-1. Conference Record: UConn 0-1, SMU 0-1. Series Record: SMU leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: The SMU Mustangs play their first game in the newly renovated Moody Coliseum, as they welcome the 17th-ranked Connecticut Huskies to town for an American Athletic Conference clash.

Kevin Ollie's Huskies opened up league play with a disappointing 75-71 road loss at Houston on Tuesday. The loss was just the second for UConn, which fell to Stanford on Dec. 18. Still, the team is off to a strong start with 11 victories prior to conference play getting started.

Larry Brown's Mustangs also started AAC play on a down note, falling to Cincinnati last time out, 65-57. The loss halted a five-game win streak for the Mustangs. SMU played its first six games at the Curtis Culwell Center and won all six, entering this game at a strong 10-3 overall.

SMU won the only previous meeting between these two teams, an 80-66 win in 1965.

UConn has had a great deal of offensive success this season, averaging a healthy 76.1 ppg, on .472 shooting. The team's real strength comes from long range, where the Huskies deliver at a .420 rate. All-American candidate Shabazz Napier is the heart-and-soul of the UConn attack. The gifted playmaker leads the team in scoring (16.3 ppg), rebounding (6.5 rpg), assists (5.8 apg) and steals (25). DeAndre Daniels (13.0 ppg) and Ryan Boatright (12.6 ppg) add to the team's depth.

The Huskies trailed by 21 points in the first half, but Napier scored 25 of his team-high 27 points in the second half to give UConn a lead in the last minute, but the visitors were unable to hold on for the victory on the road against Houston. Napier once again delivered across the board with nine rebounds and five assists. Boatright just missed a double-double as well, finishing with 19 points and nine assists. Daniels added 12 points in the losing effort.

The Mustangs were held to their second-lowest scoring output of the season in the loss to Cincinnati last time out. Markus Kennedy was the only Mustang to finish in double figures with 12 points. SMU held the Bearcats to just .365 shooting, but were outscored 23-8 at the free-throw line.

SMU doesn't light up scoreboards at a modest 73.5 ppg, but the team is extremely efficient, shooting .504 from the floor overall, including .413 from behind the arc. The team also enjoys a +9.0 rebounding margin. Nic Moore leads the team in scoring at 13.4 ppg. Kennedy hasn't started a single game this season but ranks second on the team with 10.4 ppg and first in rebounding at 5.6 rpg.

It will be an electric atmosphere at the Moody Coliseum on Saturday, but if UConn can get past the early storm of emotions, the Huskies should be able to earn a hard-fought win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 73, SMU 69

01/04 10:46:29 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
Final
PIT 7
MIL 8
Final
NYM 5
ATL 7
Final
TAM 16
NYY 1
Final
MIA 7
SEA 0
Final
TEX 6
CWS 3
Final
LOS 8
ARI 6
Final
COL 3
PHI 1
Final
SDP 3
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
SEA
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
Final
IND 93
ATL 101
Final
OKC 100
MEM 86
1:00pm Today
SAN
DAL
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
PIT 3
CLB 4
Final
COL 4
MIN 2
12:00pm Today
NYR
PHI
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR