UConn Basketball

with Kevin Duffy

Gameday and updates: UConn at Providence

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Is it fair to dub UConn and Providence a “rivalry”?

Kevin Ollie (AP)

Well, from 1994 (when Kevin Ollie sunk a game-winning layup) to 2006, the Huskies dominated the series, 16-6. But ever since, the Friars actually hold a 5-2 lead.

So, yes. UConn and Providence is yet another rivalry that will become extinct in 2014.

Some pre-game reading, rosters and stats are below:

*For UConn, Providence a ‘tough, tough matchup’

*Rudy Gay traded to Raptors

*Walker, Drummond selected in NBA Rising Stars Challenge

WHEN: Thursday, 7

WHERE: Dunkin Donuts Center (Providence, R.I.)

RECORDS: UConn 13-5, 3-3 Big East; Providence 10-10, 2-6

LINE: UConn by 1

ON THE AIR: ESPN2 (John Saunders, Tim Welsh); WTIC 1080 (Joe D’Ambrosio, Wayne Norman)

UP NEXT: Sunday vs. South Florida, 2, Gampel Pavilion (SNY)

UCONN

Shabazz Napier, G, 6-0 Jr..: 19 pts, 6 assists, 5 rebs vs. Rutgers

Ryan Boatright, G, 5-10 So.: Double-digit FG attempts in 11 of past 12 games

Omar Calhoun, G, 6-5 Fr.: 14 ppg in past 3 games

DeAndre Daniels, F, 6-8 So.: 13 pts, 7 rebs vs. Rutgers

Tyler Olander, F, 6-9 Jr.: 8 pts in past 3 games

Enosch Wolf, C, 7-1 Jr.: 3 blocks, 3 rebs vs. Rutgers

Niels Giffey, F, 6-7 Jr.: Career-high 4 steals vs. Rutgers

R.J. Evans, G, 6-3 R-Sr.: 11.5 mpg in Big East play

Phil Nolan, F, 6-9 Fr.: Has not scored in Big East play

PROVIDENCE

Kris Dunn, G, 6-3 Fr.: 6.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.4 apg

Vincent Council, G, 6-2 Sr.: 9.9 ppg, 6.7 apg

Bryce Cotton, G, 6-1 Jr.: Leads Big East with 21.7 ppg

LaDontae Henton, F, 6-6 So.: 14.2 ppg, 8 rpg

Kadeem Batts, F, 6-10 So.: 14.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg

Josh Fortune, G, 6-5 Fr.: 7 ppg, 3 rpg

Sidiki Johnson, F, 6-10 So.: 3.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg

STORY LINES

NAPIER’S SHOULDER: Although he put up 19 points against Rutgers, Shabazz Napier (shoulder) seems a little banged up still. He sat out of a contact drill towards the end of Wednesday’s practice. “(My shoulder) feels good,” Napier said. “I still have trouble sleeping, though. It was kind of hurting a little today in practice so I didn’t do the box-out drill, but it feels a little better.”

A YEAR AGO …: UConn had many low points in 2011-12. A late-season defeat in the Dunkin Donuts Center might have been the lowest. The Huskies, battling for a spot in the NCAA tournament, blew a 14-point lead with 13 minutes left. “Last year we just didn’t play well,” Napier said. “We were winning the whole game and we just kind of gave it to them at the end.”

MANY YEARS AGO …: Kevin Ollie recalled his game-winning layup against Providence in 1994. Prior to Ollie’s late-game heroics, a Donny Marshall technical foul — and a subsequent Friars’ 3-pointer — gave Providence a 78-77 edge. “Donny’s emotions got the best of him. He started clapping and I think (referee Jim) Burr, that’s the wrong person to clap to,” Ollie said. “You know I think that was my only field goal of the game, that layup. Good memories — I just remember saving Donny’s life.”

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