Playing for Pride

#15/#16 Connecticut (21-6, 10-4) travels to the RAC to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. UConn had their 10-game winning streak snapped in their last outing at the hands of Villanova while RU is looking for its third conference victory against ranked opponents this year.

The Rutgers basketball Scarlet Knights will go for the trifecta tonight. In a season of mostly lows, RU is faced with a potentially uplifting opportunity as they host nationally ranked Uconn at the RAC. With a victory, Rutgers would have defeated its third ranked Big East opponent of the year. The last time Rutgers defeated as many ranked opponents in a season was 2002, when the Scarlet Knights defeated 4 ranked teams at the RAC.

However, the Connecticut Huskies (21-6, 10-4) come in to New Jersey as one of the hottest squads in the nation. Despite a nailbiting loss at the hands of Villanova in their last outing, UConn has still won 10 of their last 11 games and find themselves tied for fourth place in the Big East Conference.

Rutgers last defeated UConn on Jan. 20, 2002. As this time around, the Huskies came into the RAC sporting a national ranking [#17] but the Scarlet Knights downed the Huskies 61-53. Uconn, however, is 30-13 all-time versus RU, including 13-9 at the RAC.

Rutgers (10-18, 2-13) lost their previous contest 78-48 at #24/#25 Marquette this past Saturday afternoon. The Scarlet Knights hung tough throughout the first half, shootting 52.0 percent before intermission while remaining very much in the game. RU shot 27.6 percent in the second half and the Golden Eagles pulled away early in the second stanza. RU was led by Corey Chandler's (Newark, N.J.) team-high 12 points and Inman's 11 points.

Fans will have the rare opportunity to see a pair of the country's most prolific shot-blockers compete on the same floor. RU's So. big, Hamady Ndiaye (Dakar, Senegal) is ranked 9th nationally with an average of three blocks per contest, while UConn's So. big, Hasheem Thabeet ranks third in the country with 4.4 rejections per game.

Tonight's game will be televised live on Madison Square Garden network with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (ET).

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