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Connecticut vs Memphis

Time: 07:00 P.M. EST
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Memphis used a dominant rebounding performance to prevent a letdown following a marquee victory.

Connecticut has struggled to rebound for most of the season but hopes an emerging inside presence can help it counter the 17th-ranked Tigers on the boards.

Memphis looks for a third straight victory in American Athletic Conference play Thursday night as it hosts the Huskies.

After claiming each of their first three conference victories on the road, the Tigers (12-3, 3-1) are set for a four-game homestand. They come off a 79-69 victory at Temple on Saturday, using a 17-6 run to distance themselves in the second half and avoid a misstep following a 73-67 win at then-No. 12 Louisville two nights earlier.

Shaq Goodwin finished with season highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double. He had only 11 points in the first two conference games before scoring 38 over the last two.

Goodwin's effort Saturday helped the Tigers claim a 45-28 rebounding edge and 42-26 advantage in points in the paint. Memphis scored 17 second-chance points on 16 offensive rebounds, marking the third time it has recorded at least 16 offensive boards in league play.

The Tigers were outrebounded six times in the first 11 games.

"I thought Shaq Goodwin was really good," coach Josh Pastner said. "If I'm not mistaken, I think we've outrebounded every opponent so far in league play, which has been good."

Connecticut (13-3, 1-2) avoided an 0-3 start in league play with Saturday's 84-61 home victory over Central Florida.

Freshman center Amida Brimah had season highs of 20 points and eight rebounds along with five blocked shots in 20 minutes. Brimah, who had averaged 2.5 points and 2.1 rebounds and had six scoreless performances, was 8 of 10 from the field.

The 7-footer hadn't scored in two of the first three conference games.

"(We've) been working with him. He's been in there weightlifting and getting extra lifts in. That's what it's all about," coach Kevin Ollie said. "That kid gives so much to his teammates (on the bench), I think it's only right that the basketball gods are going to pay you back."

The 50 rebounds were the most for UConn under the second-year coach. The Huskies have struggled on the glass, ranking last in the conference with 35.9 rebounds per game, and they had an average rebounding margin of minus-0.4 in the first 15 contests while getting outrebounded in two of the first three league games.

Saturday's 40 points in the paint were a stark contrast from the 20.6 Connecticut had averaged over the previous three games.

The Huskies, who have lost nine of their last 12 road games against ranked foes, are 1-2 away from home and shot a combined 39.0 percent in conference losses at Houston and SMU. UConn is also letting teams shoot 39.6 percent from 3-point range in three road contests.

Memphis guard Michael Dixon shot 3 of 6 from 3-point range against Temple after going 3 of 21 over the previous five games.

The Tigers won the only previous meeting 81-70 on Nov. 16, 2007, at Madison Square Garden.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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American Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-L
Louisville15-331-6
Cincinnati15-327-7
Connecticut12-632-8
SMU12-627-10
Memphis12-624-10
Houston8-1017-16
Rutgers5-1312-21
UCF4-1413-18
Temple4-149-22
So. Florida3-1512-20
 
 
 
 
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