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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Columbia vs Connecticut
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, December 22, 2014
Where: Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Kevin Ollie is going through one of his roughest stretches in three years as the coach at Connecticut, which will try to get back on the winning track on Monday when it faces Columbia in Bridgeport, Conn. The Huskies have dropped four of five since opening the season 3-0, although two of the losses have come by a point. Their latest setback – Thursday’s 66-56 loss to No. 2 Duke in East Rutherford, N.J – had leading scorer Ryan Boatright demanding improvement.

“We need signature wins for that (NCAA) Tournament run. Our conference isn't as strong as it used to be, (so) we can't rely on our conference to get us into the Tournament. (Ollie) told us, 'We're running out of opportunities,' so we need to look ourselves in the mirror,” Boatright told the Hartford Courant. Although defeating the Lions wouldn’t exactly qualify as a signature win, Columbia could be used as a bit of a measuring stick after giving top-ranked Kentucky its slimmest margin of victory – a 10-point win for the Wildcats – on Dec. 10. The Lions returned to the court on Saturday, 10 days after their near-upset of Kentucky, to defeat Hofstra 82-77.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3, SNY

ABOUT COLUMBIA (6-3): The Pride became the first team to top 64 points against the Lions, but Columbia remains the seventh-best scoring defense (53.7) in the country, holding seven teams to 57 points or fewer. While much of their success can be attributed to their 28th-ranked field-goal percentage defense (37.4), the Lions have been even stingier at defending the arc, allowing opponents to shoot 24 percent from the 3-point line – the fourth-best mark in Division I. Columbia is led by do-everything guard Maodo Lo, who is coming off a career-high 29-point effort and leads the team in scoring (17.5 points) while also tied for 15th in the country in steals (2.67).

ABOUT CONNECTICUT (4-4): Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski was effusive with his praise for Boatright, who finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the loss to Duke. “Boatright is the best guard we've played against thus far; he has a great heart. I thought we did a decent job on him, but he still scored a lot of points," Krzyzewski told reporters after the game. Center Amida Brimah, whose 40 points against Coppin State on Dec. 14 were the most by a player who shot 13-of-13 or better from the field in Division I history, was held scoreless on one attempt in 13 minutes on Thursday before fouling out.

TIP-INS

1. UConn has won seven of the nine meetings and not lost to Columbia since 1976.

2. Outside of the 10-point defeat to Kentucky, the Lions’ other two setbacks have been by a total of three points.

3. The Huskies are averaging 78 points in their wins and 55.5 points in their losses.

PREDICTION: Connecticut 64, Columbia 62
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Columbia 6-3 W1 5-1 1-2 0-0 2-0 4-3 0-0
Connecticut 4-4 L1 2-2 0-0 2-2 3-1 1-3 0-0
Last Meeting
Columbia Connecticut
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/11/11 CLMB 57 UCONN 70 57 35 28.8 70 40 50.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Columbia N. Agho 16 24.0 0
Connecticut J. Lamb 30 64.7 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Columbia B. Staab 12 5 7
Connecticut T. Olander 8 2 6
Assists Player  
Columbia N. Agho 2
Connecticut S. Napier 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Columbia M. Lo 158 44.2 17
Connecticut R. Boatright 154 44.2 42
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Columbia C. Osetkowski 69 24 45
Connecticut K. Facey 53 23 30
Assists Player  
Columbia I. Cohen 40
Connecticut R. Boatright 31
Quickchart Matchup
Columbia Off vs  Connecticut Defense
60.1 Points For
62.9 Points Against
41.2 FG%
39.8 FG%
33.3 Reb
27.8 Reb
Connecticut Off vs  Columbia Defense
66.8 Points For
53.7 Points Against
44.7 FG%
37.4 FG%
27.8 Reb
29.4 Reb