Hartford (0-1) at (2) Connecticut (1-0)
Monday, November 17th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: XL Center (16,294) -- Hartford, Connecticut, . Television: Local. Home Record: Hartford 0-1, UConn 1-0. Away Record: Hartford 0-0, UConn 0-0. Neutral Record: Hartford 0-0, UConn 0-0. Conference Record: Hartford 0-0, UConn 0-0. Series Record: UConn leads, 12-1.
GAME NOTES: The second-ranked Connecticut Huskies welcome in-state foe Hartford to the XL Center this evening, for a non-conference clash.
The Huskies opened their 2008-09 season in Storrs, routing Western Carolina, 81-55. UConn comes into this matchup with a string of 62 straight wins against opponents from the Nutmeg State. The Huskies haven't lost to an in-state opponent since 1986.
The Hawks would like to bring that streak to an end, but will be fighting an uphill battle this evening. Hartford did not have similar success in its opener, dropping a nail-biter at home to Quinnipiac, 63-62.
This is the 13th meeting between these two teams. Hartford won the first-ever matchup, but UConn has won the last 12 bouts, although this is the first time these teams have met since 1998.
The season did not get off on a good foot for the Hawks, who dropped a one- point decision to Quinnipiac last Friday. Senior Michael Turner led the Hawks with 15 points and seven rebounds, but it wasn't enough to lead his team to victory. Hartford led by four points at the half (29-25), but allowed Quinnipiac to convert 53.3 percent after the break to steal the win in West Hartford. Anthony Minor and Jaret von Rosenberg joined Turner in double figures, with 11 and 10 points, respectively, but the Hawks shot a mere .393 from the floor in the game and were abused on the boards, losing the rebounding battle, 46-31.
Center Hasheem Thabeet completely dominated the low post in UConn's season- opener, abusing the Catamounts to the tune of 23 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Last year's third-leading shot-blocker in the nation, got off to a good start in that area as well, swatting five WCU shots. Jerome Tyson was a perfect complement with his perimeter game, tying Thabeet for high-scoring honors with 23 points, thanks to 7-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc. Jeff Adrien continued the onslaught by hitting 6-of-7 from the floor, en route to a 14-point, seven rebound effort. In all, the Huskies converted 51 percent of their shots. Craig Austrie chipped in with nine points, while freshman Kemba Walker had a solid debut, posting eight points and five assists in the win.
The Hawks struggled on their home floor against Quinnipiac, so expect Hartford to be no match for the Huskies at the XL Center. Thabeet will once again dominate in the low post, leading the Huskies to another lopsided win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 87, Hartford 53
11/17 10:32:36 ET