UConn-Temple Game Preview

Top-ranked UConn women’s hoops heads to Bridgeport, Conn. on Saturday, Jan. 11 as they face the Temple Owls in American Athletic Conference action. Webster Bank Arena will play host to the matchup, which begins at 12:00PM EST with televised coverage by SNY and streaming via ESPN3. Saturday’s game will be the Huskies’ eleventh total time playing in Bridgeport but first regular season contest, playing all previous ten games as part of NCAA Tournaments (2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2013). Fans should note that doors are scheduled to open 90 minutes prior of tipoff.

The Huskies and Owls meet for the fourth time in program history on Saturday. Temple holds the 2-1 head-to-head advantage over Connecticut, claiming the first meeting in the 1980-81 season and winning the subsequent game the following year. The most recently rendezvoused in 2010 when their paths crossed in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. Led by Maya Moore’s 19 points, the Huskies overpowered the Owls, 90-36, en route to the program’s second consecutive undefeated season and seventh National Championship.

Temple owns an 8-6 overall record (2-2 American), dropping league matchups to Louisville and USF and earning a pair of wins against Memphis and UCF. Facing three teams boasting national rankings this season, Temple came up empty-handed in single-digit losses to Michigan State, Syracuse, and Louisville.

No. 1 UConn enters Saturday’s game riding a 22-game win streak dating back to the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Huskies are undefeated through 16 games this year including four wins against American Athletic Conference opponents and five victories against ranked foes. UConn is outscoring opponents by an average 37.8 points and bringing down an average 10 more rebounds than the their competition.

On the defensive end, Connecticut leads the nation in shot blocking, averaging 8.7 rejections per game. The Huskies reinforced that statistics against Houston on Tuesday evening, posting 17 blocks to set a new season high and tie UConn’s record for single-game stuffs set back in 1995. Stefanie Dolson (Port Jervis, N.Y.) and Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.) led the charge with seven and six blocks, respectively. Kiah Stokes (Marion, Iowa) added three rejections while freshman guard Saniya Chong (Ossining, N.Y.) provided one of her own.

Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook, Ill.) followed Dolson’s career-high seven blocks by setting her own personal record against Houston. Tuck knocked down eight of ten shots for a personal-best 19 points against the Cougars.

After leading the team with 24 points against Houston, USA Basketball’s Female Athlete of the Year Breanna Stewart continues to boast the highest points per game average on the team with 18.4 in addition to a team-high 46 blocked shots.

Guards Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) and Bria Hartley (North Babylon, N.Y.) average 4.6 assists per game to lead UConn. Jefferson, enjoying an excellent sophomore year, logged her ninth consecutive game with at least one steal after a pair of takeaways against Houston. The sophomore has snagged three or more steals in eight outings this season, racking up as 38 thefts through 16 games.

Another noteworthy performance has been Saniya Chong’s ability to hit her first shot off the bench. The rookie has gone 9-of-15 on her first field goal attempts this season, making 6-of-10 when the first shot is a 3-pointer. She is averaging 20.1 minutes per game in her freshman season.

Reprinted with permission from UConnHuskies.com

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