UConn hosts little known Central Arkansas
Hartford, CT (Sports Network) – The 21st-ranked Connecticut Huskies are
heavy favorites in tonight’s clash against Central Arkansas, a non-
conference opponent. This game is being played as part of the Hispanic College
Fund Classic. After beating up on Central Methodist in the season opener,
Central Arkansas dropped a 69-64 overtime decision to St. Bonaventure on
Tuesday. The Bears have made the leap to Division I after posting an 18-10
record last season as a Division II program. The alma mater of Scottie
Pippen is now a member of the Southland Conference, and head coach Rand
Chappell has some talent to work with this season.
As for UConn, it has only played one game thus far, a 53-46 triumph over
Quinnipiac last Friday. The Huskies were clearly one of the best teams in the
nation last season, but they lost to Syracuse in the Big East Tournament
championship game and then got knocked off by George Mason in the NCAA
Tournament. Many key contributors from that team are gone, but Jim Calhoun
always has players ready to make a name for themselves.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between UConn and Central Arkansas.
In the recent overtime loss to St. Bonaventure, Central Arkansas connected on
only 39.4 percent of its field goal attempts, including a 6-of-23 effort from
three-point range. The Bears were outscored 22-6 from the foul line and
outrebounded by a 42-38 margin. Those negatives overshadowed the fact that
coach Chappell’s team limited the Bonnies to 35.2 percent shooting from the
floor. Leading the way in defeat was Durrell Nevels, as he netted 16 point5s.
Nate Bowie contributed 14 points, and Fernando Johnson pulled down 12
rebounds. As for LeMar Phillips, who averaged 12.5 ppg last season, he was
limited to four points on 2-of-11 shooting on Tuesday. In the opener against
Central Methodist, Phillips shot 1-of-9 en route to his two points.
Jeff Adrien is the leading returning scorer for Connecticut, as he scored a
modest 6.5 ppg last season. In the closer-than-expected win over Quinnipiac
last time out, Adrien scored 14 points and pulled down 16 rebounds. The only
other double-digit scorer for Connecticut was Jerome Dyson, as he tallied 16
points. Hasheem Thabeet ripped down 11 boards and blocked seven shots for the
Huskies, and he appears capable of being a dominant presence at the defensive
end of the court all season. The Huskies connected on only 30.4 percent of
their field goal attempts in the clash and turned the ball over 21 times.
Fortunately, they earned a 55-40 rebounding advantage and limited Quinnipiac
to 25.8 percent shooting from the floor.