Connecticut (19-9) at South Florida (11-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 6, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: USF Sun Dome (12,400) -- Tampa, Florida. Television:
ESPNU. Home Record: UConn 12-3, USF 9-8. Away Record: UConn 4-4, USF 2-9.
Neutral Record: UConn 3-2, USF 0-0. Conference Record: UConn 9-7, USF 2-14.
Series Record: UConn leads, 10-1.
GAMES NOTES: The Connecticut Huskies take their final road trip of the season
when they face the South Florida Bulls in a Big East Conference battle at the
USF Sun Dome on Wednesday night.
Due to sanctions handed down by the NCAA last season the Huskies are
ineligible for the postseason which is too bad considering they have put
together a solid campaign. UConn is 19-9 overall, right in the thick of the
Big East standings (9-7). The Huskies have dropped back-to-back games and will
try to get out of that rut with only a game against Providence left on the
schedule following this matchup.
South Florida may be eligible for the postseason but the Bulls aren't likely
to be able to take advantage as they come into this game at just 11-17 overall
and tied for last in the Big East standings (2-14) with DePaul. The Bulls did
top the Blue Demons last time out to end a 10-game losing streak. South
Florida will be on the road against Cincinnati in its regular-season finale on
Saturday as it battles for the final spot in the Big East Tournament.
Connecticut has dominated this short-term conference rivalry with a 10-1 edge
in the all-time series, including an 8-1 advantage since the Bulls joined the
Big East. That includes a 69-64 overtime victory earlier this season.
On Saturday UConn butted heads with Cincinnati but despite a game-high 22
points from Ryan Boatright the Huskies fell, 61-56. Both teams shot below 40
percent from the floor in the contest but the Huskies were outscored 27-6 from
In the loss the Huskies were without leading scorer Shabazz Napier (17.1 ppg,
4.3 rpg, 4.6 apg) who was sidelined with a sore right foot. Napier is still
listed as questionable for this contest. Boatright (15.3 ppg, 4.4 apg) is an
explosive playmaker but has played better in tandem with Napier rather than on
his own. Omar Calhoun (11.4 ppg) has played well in the backcourt in his
freshman season, while DeAndre Daniels (11.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg) is one of very few
commodities in the frontcourt. As a team the Huskies scored a respectable 70.8
points per game while shooting just under 45 percent from the field. However
they rank second to last in the league in rebounds (32.8 pg).
In a battle of the worst teams in the Big East, South Florida got past DePaul
by shooting 54.4 percent from the field while holding a 27-12 edge from beyond
the arc. All five starters scored in double figures for the Bulls led by
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick who dumped in 19 points to go with eight rebounds.
There is no secret as to why the Bulls have struggled so much this season.
They have been absolutely dreadful offensively ranking at the very bottom of
the Big East in points (59.4 pg), assists (11.3 pg) and field goal percentage
(.392). The Bulls also struggle on the boards as they are the only team other
than UConn that cleans the glass worse (32.3 pg) in the league. Victor Rudd
(11.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (10.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) are the two
top scorers on the rosters but neither shoots better than 40 percent from
the field. Anthony Collins (9.0 ppg, 6.2 apg) is the primarily ball handler
and is behind only Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams in assists in the Big
East (6.2 pg).
Though there isn't much to play for as the season closes for the Huskies, they
are still a solid team led by a dynamic backcourt. However they will be
weakened without Napier, although Boatright and Calhoun are good enough to
carry them past the Bulls.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 70, South Florida 64
03/06 10:35:10 ET
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