No. 7 Huskies up next for the Hall

The Pirates return to action on Saturday at 7 p.m. to take on the No. 6 Connecticut in the Prudential Center.

The Huskies, 17-4 (5-2), are coming off an eight-point loss to No. 17 Syracuse on Wednesday night, marking the first home loss to the Orange by UConn in 12 years.

The Huskies are led by junior guard Kemba Walker, who sits atop the Big East in scoring with 24.2 points per game and is third in the nation, trailing BYU’s Jimmer Fredette and NIU’s Xavier Silas.

Walker is second in the Big East with 2.1 steals per game. He also averages 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

Many consider Walker and Fredette to be the top two candidates for National Player of the Year.

Sophomore center Alex Oriakhi leads UConn with 9 rebounds per game and is third in the Big East. He also averages 10.7 points per game and 2.1 blocks.

The freshman guard duo of Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb has given Walker some help in the backcourt.

Napier is averaging 9.1 points and 3.3 assists per game, while Lamb is averaging 9.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Freshman forward Roscoe Smith is averaging 7.5 points per game for UConn, along with 5.9 rebounds.

All four of the Huskies losses have come at the hands of ranked Big East foes (Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Louisville, and Syracuse).

“Any team can beat anyone in this league; it’s a very tough conference,” senior guard Jeremy Hazell said. “We just have to play to the best of our abilities, keep our heads up and play hard.”

The Pirates, 10-13 (4-7), are looking for their fifth Big East win against UConn.

Seton Hall will head to Rutgers Feb. 12 and then take on No. 12 Villanova on Feb. 15 at home.

“We have to go to practice with the same focus and mentality that we’ve had,” junior forward Herb Pope said. “We practice like we’re playing a game and try to talk about the game plan between each other.”

Matt Bryant can be reached at matthew.bryant@student.shu.edu

Chris Paizis can be reached at christos.paizis@student.shu.edu

Author: Staff Writer

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