It’s a battle of mid-major programs on the college hardwood when the Atlantic 10 locks up with the AAC up in the Constitution State. The Saint Joseph’s Hawks are on the road as they battle the Connecticut Huskies Wednesday night. Saint Joseph’s was downed 82-69 on the road by Old Dominion Sunday in their previous contest. Connecticut opened their season with an 89-67 home victory over Sacred Heart in their previous contest Friday night. The Huskies have won five of the seven previous meetings, including an 89-81 overtime victory in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 20, 2014.
Saint Joseph’s Hawks Try to Regroup After Road DefeatSaint Joseph’s was knocked off by Old Dominion on the road in their last contest as they saw their record drop to 1-1. The Hawks hope that their second road game can deliver a victory and avoid dropping below the .500 mark. Saint Joseph’s played pretty well in the first half as they led by 12 with 4:38 to play in the opening half. The Hawks went cold from that point as they gave up a 9-1 run to end the first half, trimming their lead to four. Saint Joseph’s was close for most of the second half and was tied at 65 with 3:41 to play: the Hawks were cold again, getting outscored 17-4 the rest of the way. The Hawks shot only 32.4 percent from the field, including 15 of 37 from beyond the arc, and missed nine of 19 free throws in the contest. Lorenzo Edwards had 23 points to lead Saint Joseph’s in the loss.
The Hawks enter this contest 143rd in the nation in scoring offense with 77.5 points per game on the season. Saint Joseph’s is tied for 110th in rebounding with 41 boards a night while they stand tied for 65th by dishing 17 assists per contest. The Hawks have struggled on the defensive end as they are tied for 315th in scoring defense by allowing 81.5 points a game. Lorenzo Edwards leads Saint Joseph’s with 17.5 points plus 5.5 rebounds per contest. Ryan Daly chips in 17 points plus 7.5 assists a game, Myles Douglas adds 11 points a night while Cameron Brown contributes 10 points per contest. Saint Joseph’s is shooting only 36.9 percent from the field as a team this season. The Hawks average 10.5 three-pointers a night despite shooting only 30.9 percent as a team from beyond the arc. Saint Joseph’s is solid at the charity stripe, converting 74.5 percent of their attempts.
Connecticut Huskies Look to Build Off Season Opening VictoryConnecticut started sluggishly but finally got into gear in the second half in their opener against Sacred Heart. The Huskies managed to pull away in the later stages of the contest to earn the victory. Connecticut was only up three at the half but opened the second half with a 14-2 run to go up 54-39. Sacred Heart didn’t make a serious run the rest of the way, getting no closer than 11 as the Huskies picked up the victory. Connecticut shot 45.3 percent from the field, including five of 19 from three-point range and held Sacred Heart to 30.2 percent shooting to offset a 49-41 rebounding disadvantage. The team played without James Bouknight, who was suspended for the first three games of the season after reports that he fled from a car accident last week.
Josh Carlton led the way for the Huskies with 18 points plus eight rebounds in the contest. Christian Vital contributed 17 points while Brendan Adams put up 15 points plus six boards off the bench in the win. Sidney Wilson contributed 13 points off the pine while Tyler Polley added 10 points and six rebounds to cap the five players scoring in double figures in the win. Connecticut has to be better than they were in the first half if they hope to contend in their final season in the AAC: they will move back to the Big East next season.
The top trends for this contest, according to Covers.com:
- Hawks are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games
- Hawks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games
- Huskies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Huskies are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400