The 21st-ranked Connecticut Huskies entertain the Stony Brook Seawolves in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon.
Stony Brook has gotten off to a fast start to the season, with wins in four of its first five games. The Seawolves bounced back nicely from a heartbreaking Nov. 18 defeat at the hands of Sacred Heart (64-62) to beat Canisius on Saturday, 82-75.
The Huskies began their season overseas at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and they upset the 14th-ranked Michigan State Spartans, 66-62, which helped them catapult into the Top-25. UConn is fresh off a run to the championship game of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, but lost to New Mexico, 66-60, for Kevin Ollie's first defeat as head coach.
UConn has won all four previous meetings with Stony Brook, most recently claiming a 79-52 home win in November of 2010.
Coming into Saturday's matchup with Canisius, Stony Brook was making just 40.4 percent of its field goal attempts, and it was much of the same in the win as the team shot just 39.7 percent from the floor, but it was able to hold onto its lead in the second half by putting together an impressive day from the foul line (27-of-31). Pacing the effort was Anthony Jackson, who went 5-of-11 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the line en route to 21 points. Jameel Warney logged 18 points and seven boards, while Dave Coley added 14 points. Tommy Brenton was plagued by six turnovers, but he was otherwise productive in the low post with nine points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Jackson is the leading scorer through five games with 13.4 ppg, and he's gone nearly perfect from the foul line (17-of-19). Coley (12.0 ppg) and Warney (11.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg) have also been effective in the early going, and Brenton is as well- rounded as they come with 7.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, and 5.2 apg.
UConn's latest loss to New Mexico was its most lackluster offensive effort of the season. Even though its percentages from the floor (.426) and three-point line (.389) weren't exactly terrible, it did not help itself much at the foul line (7-of-9) as it put up just 60 points in the defeat. The poor effort spoiled a great performance at the defensive end, as New Mexico made less than 40 percent of its field goal attempts. Shabazz Napier continues to show why he's considered one of the best guards in the nation, scoring 23 points on 9- of-16 from the floor (4-of-7 from three) while adding four assists, four rebounds and three steals. The junior is averaging 21.2 ppg and he is converting 86.5 percent of his free throws, but perhaps his most amazing stat is the fact that he's turned the ball over just three times in five games. Ryan Boatright (13.6 ppg) is the only other Huskie to score in double figures, and he also dishes out 4.6 apg. They haven't been very strong on the boards, as no player grabs more than 4.6 rpg, and they are outrebounded by nearly nine caroms per contest.