South Florida (10-10) at Connecticut (14-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 3, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gampel Pavilion (10,167) -- Storrs, Connecticut. Television: SNY, Big East Network, MASN. Home Record: USF 8-5. UConn 9-1. Away Record: USF 2-5, UConn 2-2. Neutral Record: USF 0-0, UConn 3-2. Conference Record: USF 1-7, UConn 4-3. Series Record: UConn leads, 9-1.
GAMES NOTES: Coming off just their second true road win of the season the Connecticut Huskies will be back at Gampel Pavilion to take on the South Florida Bulls in Big East action Sunday afternoon.
Since Big East play began the Bulls have been in a free-fall. On Monday USF was dropped, 63-50 by No. 25 Marquette in what was its third straight loss and seventh in the last eight games. At 1-7 in league play USF is currently in last place in the Big East and the squad's 10-10 overall mark is also at the bottom of the conference. USF will have a chance to avenge its loss to Marquette next time out.
On Thursday UConn went up against Providence in just its fourth true road game of the season and came away with a hard earned 82-79 win in overtime. The victory was the second straight for the Huskies who had previously lost back- to-back games. UConn will be playing its fourth contest at Gampel Pavilion this year, where it is 3-0 thus far. The Huskies who are 14-5 overall and will next play back-to-back games on the road for the first time this season against St. John's and Seton Hall.
In 10 total meetings between these teams UConn has dominated earning nine wins against USF.
USF's offensive struggles continued to plague the Bulls in their loss to Marquette. The Bulls shot at just a 27.3 percent clip in the contest and if it weren't for their 8-of-19 effort from beyond the arc they may have lost by even more. The Bulls did manage to score 20 points off turnovers as well.
There is no team in the Big East that has been as weak on the offensive end of the floor as USF. The Bulls are dead last in the conference in points per game (61.2), assists (12.2 pg) and field-goal percentage (.405). The poor offensive showings have negated the success the Bulls have had on the defensive end where they allow just 61.1 points per game on 41.7 percent shooting. Victor Rudd (10.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is the top scorer and rebounder on the roster. Rudd is joined in double figures by Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (10.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Jawanza Poland (10.1 ppg), while Anthony Collins (9.4 ppg, 7.0 apg) is second in the conference in assists.
UConn led by as many as 13 points against Providence in the first half but went into halftime leading by just a single point. In the second half there were 12 ties and six lead changes as a LaDontae Henton layup with 18 seconds remaining sent the game into overtime. In the extra session UConn knocked down 2-of-3 shots from the floor, both 3-pointers, and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line to capture the win.
Though not as prolific an offensive squad as some teams in the conference, UConn is still a much more explosive team in comparison to USF. The Huskies are scoring 71.3 points per game, while connecting on 46.1 percent of their shots from the floor. However the Huskies are a team built on size and speed in the backcourt and are thus weak on the inside, as they rank in the bottom of the Big East in rebounding (31.7 pg). Shabazz Napier (16.8 ppg, 4.1 apg) and Ryan Boatright (16.1 pg, 4.7 apg) have been a dynamic duo on the perimeter, as each ranks in the top 10 in the conference in points and assists while in the top 25 in steals. Omar Calhoun (10.8 ppg) provides additional scoring depth in the backcourt, while DeAndre Daniels (11.1 ppg) is the most consistent contributor up front.
Though the Bulls have a decided advantage in the interior the Huskies' guard play will be too much for USF to handle.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 72, South Florida 62
02/03 10:32:05 ET