The UConn Huskies return to action tonight, traveling to Hofheinz Pavilion to take on the University of Houston Cougars. Thanks to four straight wins, Connecticut is right back in the thick of things in the American Athletic Conference. The winner of tonight’s matchup will take over sole possession of third place in the conference standings.
Facts and Figures
The Cougars have one of the better offenses in the country, ranked 31st overall according to Kenpom.com. Houston is also the second-highest scoring team in the conference.
Rob Gray and Damyean Dotson combine to score 37.8 points per game and the Cougars also shoot a conference-best 40.3 percent from beyond the arch.
Two hot teams
Both squads come into this one playing some of their best basketball. After a 4-4 start in conference play, the Cougars have won five of six, with all but one of those victories coming by double digits.
The Huskies’ dreadful start has been well documented, but UConn is 9-3 since Jan. 5 and has roared back to life. The top five teams in the conference earn a first-round bye and the top-three seeds draw night games. Playing at the XL Center at night would be a huge boost to attendance and UConn’s home-court advantage.
Adams is back
Houston steamrolled UConn back in late December, but the Huskies were playing without Jalen Adams. The sophomore guard is ready to go tonight and has been playing extraordinarily well, averaging 14.9 points and 7.0 assists per game over his last eight contests.
Home court advantage
UConn has struggled on the road against Houston, and with this being the second-to-last game played at Hofheinz Pavilion, expect the Houston crowd to be especially lively in support of the Cougars. The Huskies are 4-4 all-time against Houston.
Better Defensive effort
In their first meeting, the Huskies allowed the Cougars to shoot 55 percent from the field, giving up 20 points to Rob Gray. UConn comes in with a 45.5 percent effective field percentage allowed, 18th in the country, and will need a better showing for the winning streak to continue.