Pre-game preview: New Hampshire

The Big East/America East Challenge continues tonight.

At least it seems that way.

UConn (5-1) is playing its third America East Conference opponent, hostingNew Hampshire(2-3) tonight here at the XL Center inHartford.

The Huskies already beatVermont(67-49) and Stony Brook (73-62) this season.

Expect the same starting lineup as the previous six games.

“We’re 5-1,” coach Kevin Ollie said. “I like how we’re going. No changes now. The Titanic is not sinking. We’re going to stay with this ship.”

Here’s a pre-game preview:

Probable starters

UConn, 6-1 jr. guard Shabazz Napier (20.8 pts)

6-0 so. guard Ryan Boatright (12.8 pts, 5.0 assists)

6-5 fr. guard Omar Calhoun (10.2 pts)

6-8 so. forward DeAndre Daniels (8.5 pts, 4.2 rebs)

6-9 jr. forward Tyler Olander (5.0 pts, 4.8 rebs)

New Hampshire, 6-0 jr. guard Jordon Bronner (6 pts. 3.6 assists)

6-4 sr. guard Chandler Rhoads (13.0 pts, 4.8 rebs)

6-6 jr. forward Patrick Konan (13.2 pts, 5.4 rebs)

6-9 sr. forward Chris Matagrano (6.6 pts, 3.4 rebs)

6-10 red-shirt jr. center Chris Pelcher (12.0 pts, 8.0 rebs)

Top reserves

UConn, junior guard Niels Giffey (5.5 pts, 4.0).

UNH, 6-6 sr. forward Ferg Myrick (11.8 pts, 7.2 rebs)

Noteworthy

-- UConn has dominated the series againstNew Hampshire, holding a 91-25 edge. The Huskies have won seven in a row.

In one of the more lopsided games, the Huskies bolted out to a 32-0 lead in 1990 on the way to an 85-32 rout. The Wildcats had 31 turnovers and only 10 field goals.

 -- Injury update: Veteran guard R.J. Evans (sternal-clavicular sprain) will sit out his second straight game. Reserve Leon Tolksdorf (sprained left knee) will be available to play.

 -- Let’s see if UConn can finally win the rebounding battle. The Huskies have been out-rebounded in all six games.

Ollie said that he’s seen progress in that area during practice.

“We embrace the struggle,” Ollie said. “Guys are getting better. They’re not discouraged. … We’re just plowing through the snow. … I believe in these guys. Our bigs, they’re going to rebound for us and we’re going to get out on the break. It’s going to explode one day.”

 -- Twenty-six years ago today, Jim Calhoun coached his first game at UConn, beating UMass, 58-54, inStorrs. It was the first of 873 victories for the Hall of Fame coach.

 -- Follow me on Twitter during the game at @GavinKeefe

-- Check back later for a post-game breakdown and video.

 

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