DePaul (11-13) at Connecticut (15-9)
The Sports Network
Wednesday February 15th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gampel Pavilion (10,167) -- Storrs, Connecticut. Television: SNY, Big East Network. Home Record: DePaul 6-7, UConn 11-2. Away Record: DePaul 3-5, UConn 2-6. Neutral Record: DePaul 2-1, UConn 2-1. Conference Record: DePaul 2-1, UConn 5-7. Series Record: Connecticut leads, 6-1.
GAME NOTES: Two struggling teams will square off tonight when the DePaul Blue Demons head to Gampel Pavilion to tangle with the Connecticut Huskies in Big East Conference action.
This will be just the eighth contest between UConn and the Blue Demons. The Huskies lead the all-time series 6-1 after winning the last five meetings.
Head coach Oliver Purnell has led his DePaul team to a 11-13 overall record, and just a 2-10 mark in Big East action after its 84-76 loss to Notre Dame on Saturday. The Blue Demons played very well offensively against Notre Dame, as they shot 46.9 percent from the floor and made 9-of-16 from three-point range. Although DePaul was serviceable on the offensive end, they lost as the Fighting Irish shot 59.6 percent from the field. DePaul has been playing well offensively in league play with an average of 71.4 ppg, it has the worst scoring defense in Big East action with an allowed average of 81.8 ppg. Conference foes have connected on 52.0 percent of their field goal attempts against DePaul.
Cleveland Melvin is pacing DePaul with 18.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The sophomore forward has been held under 10 points just twice all season. Melvin had 16 points and six boards in the team's loss to Notre Dame its last time out. Brandon Young is second on the team in scoring (14.9) and the top passer with an average of 4.8 assists per outing. Young finished with 13 points and three assists against the Fighting Irish. Jeremiah Kelly provides a scoring spark off the bench for DePaul, while freshman Jamee Crockett continues to improve while starting at small forward.
UConn will continue to play without head coach Jim Calhoun as he is on an indefinite leave of absence. The defending national champs have been spiraling down the Big East standings as they have lost six of their last seven games. UConn could not hang with the second-ranked Syracuse Orange on Saturday, as they lost 85-67. The Orange had their way with UConn as they shot 59.3 percent from the field including 10-of-16 from three-point range. The loss dropped the Huskies to 15-9 for the year and 5-7 in league play. UConn is being outscored by 1.3 ppg in conference play.
The Huskies will look to Jeremy Lamb to lead them back. Lamb averages a team- best 17.5 ppg on 46.9 percent shooting from the field. The sophomore swingman led the team with 18 points in their loss to the Orange on Saturday. Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright, and Andre Drummond all play intricate roles for UConn. Boatright and Napier are excellent passers and Drummond leads the squad with 7.5 boards per game.
This one could go either way. While UConn has been less than impressive, its talent is still apparent. DePaul can play with anybody in the country, but its streakiness makes it susceptible to a loss against anybody as well. The Huskies will hold an edge on their home floor, where they are 11-2 so far this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 73, DePaul 65
02/15 10:51:01 ET