The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange will try to put more space between themselves and the Big East Conference field Saturday, as they host the Connecticut Huskies in a men's basketball game (1 p.m. ET on CBS) at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (24-1, 11-1 Big East) are looking for their fifth straight victory and extend their 19-game home winning streak dating back to last season.
On Wednesday, Syracuse edged rival No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas, 64-61, in overtime at the Carrier Dome. Senior forward Kris Joseph netted a collegiate-best 29 points including the game-winning 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining in the extra session.
Sophomore center Fabricio Melo chipped in with 11 points, seven rebounds and six blocks for the Orange, who trailed 31-27 at halftime. In the last two SU contests, since his return from a three-game absence, Melo has averaged 12.5 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game and 4.0 blocks per game.
Entering the game against UConn (15-8, 5-6), Joseph leads all SU players in scoring (14.3 ppg), while Melo leads the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and senior guard Scoop Jardine is tops with 4.6 assists per game.
As for the Huskies, they're losers of five of their last six games including a loss at the Louisville Cardinals, 80-59, Monday. Freshman point guard Ryan Boatright tallied a game-best 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals but the Cardinals 11 3-pointers were too much for UConn to overcome.
For the third straight game, the Huskies will be without long-time head coach Jim Calhoun, as he's was diagnosed and is dealing with spinal stenosis. In his place will be assistant coach George Blaney.
Sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb enters Saturday's game pacing the Huskies in scoring with 17.2 ppg, while Shabazz Napier is averaging 13.1 ppg. Blue-chip freshman Andre Drummond is the top rebounder (7.5 per game).
Saturday's game will be played in front of a reported 31,000-plus fans, which will set an on-campus NCAA record this season.
For more on this game Syracuse vs. UConn, check back to this StoryStream.
Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we blog live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. UConn Saturday afternoon.