UConn Huskies at Memphis Tigers
Connecticut Huskies Preview
The Connecticut Huskies snapped a four-game skid filled with close calls by beating Temple 78-63 on Wednesday, forcing 16 turnovers and swatting seven shots. Senior guard Christian Vital, as he often does, led the way with 15 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
He is the only double-digit scorer — four others average at least nine points, though — for a team that has only one victory (Florida) against a team ranked better than 100 in Friday’s NET rankings from the NCAA. The Huskies are tough defensively at the rim — second nationally with 6.8 blocks per game — but struggle offensively on the road, where they are 0-4 and have yet to score more than 60.
Memphis Tigers Preview
Freshman forward Precious Achiuwa projects as a first-round NBA draft pick and is averaging 15.2 points and 10.3 rebounds for a Memphis Tigers squad that has needed a shot of confidence, according to coach Penny Hardaway. The Tigers took a positive step on Wednesday night with a 59-57 win at Central Florida, and sophomore Lance Thomas comes in hot after scoring a career-high 20, highlighted by a pair of late 3-pointers.
Before that, Memphis had lost two in a row — and four of six — falling out of the rankings. With Thomas moving into the starting lineup, perhaps the Tigers have found complementary firepower to their tenacious defense that ranks second nationally by allowing 36.3 percent shooting.