The UConn Huskies (15-11, 8-6 AAC) look to make it two in a row tonight as they take on the East Carolina Pirates (12-15, 5-9 AAC) in an American Athletic Conference clash. The Huskies won the first meeting 65-52 earlier this month at Gampel Pavilion behind a 23 point effort from Ryan Boatright.
UConn is coming off a 67-60 victory over Tulane their last time out. The Huskies got major production out of Boatright, 16 points, Amida Brimah, 19 points, and Daniel Hamilton, 7 points 9 rebounds and 9 assists. It was Brimah's second consecutive 19 point game. It has been nice seeing the sophomore center come into his own offensively. His presence in the paint offers the Huskies a much needed reliable second scoring option. As for Hamilton, the freshman is becoming the player Kevin Ollie expected him to be. His all around court presence has expanded as the season has gone along and he has emerged as a triple double threat each and every game.
The Pirates have struggled this year, but they have nice talent. Against the Huskies, guard BJ Tyson sprung for 20 points off the bench to lead the way. In the post game, I recall Ollie making mention that Tyson, a freshman, was particularly impressive, especially having to go against the much lauded defensive of Boatright. Tyson has been on a tear all month, averaging 16.0 ppg over seven games. He is the engine of this team, as he goes, the Pirates go.
This UConn team knows the position they've put themselves in. At this point in the season, all that remains to be gained is confidence and knowledge of what works. A win tonight would set UConn up nicely to finish the season against the top teams in the conference.
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