Fordham (2-8) at Connecticut (8-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 21, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: XL Center (16,294) -- Hartford, Connecticut. Television:
SNY. Home Record: Fordham 0-1, UConn 5-0. Away Record: Fordham 0-5, UConn 0-0.
Neutral Record: Fordham 2-2, UConn 3-2. Conference Record: Fordham 0-0, UConn
0-0. Series Record: Connecticut leads, 11-10.
GAME NOTES: The Fordham Rams will try to pick up their first true road win of
season when they journey to the XL Center for a non-conference duel with the
The Rams ended a five-game losing slide on Saturday with a 63-60 decision over
Princeton at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Fordham's losing
streak included setbacks in away games at Harvard, Lehigh, and St. John's.
Coach Tom Pecora's team enters with a 2-8 record as its only other victory
came over Penn on Nov. 19. The Rams are having trouble winning due to their
lack of production on the offensive end as they are averaging only 62.1 ppg.
They are not much better on defense as opponents are scoring 72.5 points per
contest on 43.3 percent shooting from the field.
Kevin Ollie's Huskies have performed well under the first-year head coach, as
they are 8-2 after completing an 84-50 rout of Maryland-Eastern Shore on
Monday. UConn's only setbacks came on neutral courts to the New Mexico Lobos
and NC State Wolfpack. It has earned victories over Michigan State, Wake
Forest, Quinnipiac, and Harvard. The Huskies are decent on both ends of the
floor as they average 69.9 ppg on 45.5 percent shooting, while holding
opponents to 61.4 ppg on under 40 percent shooting.
These schools have not played since 1999, but the all-time series is very
close with UConn holding a narrow 11-10 lead. The Huskies have won their last
five games versus Fordham, but the Rams came out on top in 10 of the 15 bouts
between 1954 and 1968.
Fordham began to click its last time out versus Princeton as it shot 40
percent from the floor, converted 17-of-19 at the charity stripe, and held a
39-28 edge in the rebounding battle. The Rams trailed down the stretch until
Branden Frazier made a go-ahead layup with eight seconds left. Fordham then
came up with a clutch defensive stop and sank its free throws to seal the
deal. Frazier, a junior guard from Brooklyn, finished with a team-high 19
points and senior forward Chris Gaston added 16 points and five boards.
Sophomore Ryan Canty recorded an impressive double-double with 12 points and
15 rebounds. Frazier is the team's leader with 15.6 points and 4.6 assists per
game. Gaston, who missed the previous six games before the win over the Tigers
with a knee injury, is tallying 12.5 points and 7.8 boards a game.
UConn was dominant its last time out versus UMES, converting 66 percent of its
field goal attempts including 10-of-19 from beyond the arc. It also held its
opponent under 40 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers. The Huskies'
strength is their backcourt made up of Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, and
Omar Calhoun, who helped them assist 21 of their 33 makes from the field
against UMES. The three guards are combining for 4.5 makes from beyond the arc
per contest. Napier (16.6) and Boatright (15.1) are the team's top two scorers
and are also combining for 7.8 assists per game. Calhoun is adding 10.3 ppg
and forward DeAndre Daniels (10.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg) is the top option inside.
The Huskies would not be a national contender if they were eligible for
postseason play, but they are a solid team despite losing a few players to
transfers over the offseason and transitioning to a rookie head coach. Fordham
took a step in the right direction its last time out, but it faced a Princeton
team that was without its best player. The Rams are better with Gaston in the
lineup, but he does not make them a threat to take down UConn.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 73, Fordham 60
12/21 10:32:42 ET
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