Connecticut looks to rebound from its biggest loss in 40 years when it hosts Columbia on Wednesday. After winning its first game in the PK80 tournament last week, the Huskies dropped the final two contests, including 102-67 to Arkansas.
UConn opened its season with four straight wins, including a solid victory over host Oregon in last week’s PK80 opener. The Huskies, however, couldn’t handle the tournament atmosphere playing three games in four days and had nothing left in the second half of a 77-57 loss to No. 3 Michigan State and were never in the contest against the Razorbacks. “We’ve got to come out and match their intensity, we know where we’ve got to build from here on out,” UConn guard Jalen Adams told reporters. Columbia has lost three straight after splitting its first two games, including a season-opening 75-60 loss to No. 4 Villanova.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, SNY, ESPN3
ABOUT COLUMBIA (1-4): The Lions’ lone win came at Longwood 87-77, but they’ve since lost at Penn State, Army and Colgate. Columbia, which has not played a home game this season, is led by Mike Smith at 17.4 points and 4.0 assists per contest. Junior Lucas Meisner, from Germany, scored a career-high 18 points in the Lions’ 77-71 loss to Colgate on Saturday.
ABOUT UCONN (4-2): The Huskies are dealing with major injuries as Terry Larrier (17.3 points per game) left the Arkansas contest with an ankle injury and guard Alterique Gilbert (9,0 points) was bothered by the same shoulder that kept him sidelined last year. Coach Kevin Ollie said he didn’t know if either player would be available for Wednesday’s game. Adams continues his strong play leading the squad at 18.8 points a contest and scored 25 against the Razorbacks.
1. UConn was tied for fourth-worst nationally in assists per game entering Wednesday with 8.8 per contest.
2. Huskies C Eric Cobb has missed the past three games with an ankle injury.
3. Connecticut is shooting 29 percent from 3-point range.
PREDICTION: UConn 80, Columbia 61