NCAA BK

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 - 9:00 PM ET
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Stanford-UConn Preview

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Consistent success from 3-point range has paced Connecticut's strong start. The No. 10 Huskies hope they didn't lose that touch during a lengthy break.

UConn will play for the first time in nearly two weeks Wednesday night in Hartford looking to continue its non-conference home success in its first game against Stanford in more than a decade.

Connecticut (9-0) hasn't played since making a season-high 14 of its 25 3-point attempts in a 95-68 win over Maine on Dec. 6. Off to the best start since the 2010-11 national champions were 10-0, the Huskies are shooting a nation-best 46.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Five players have made 10 or more 3s and three of those Huskies are shooting at least 45.5 percent from long range. Niels Giffey, at 6-foot-7, leads the country at 66.7 percent (18 of 27), while fellow reserve and George Washington transfer Lasan Kromah is 7 of 12.

"A lot of us go back to the gym at night," said guard Ryan Boatright, who hit one of two 3s and had a team-high 17 points versus Maine. "Last year, there was only a few of us (who were) taking the initiative and going back and working on our game. Now, it's hard to even get a rim in there, because everybody's in the gym shooting."

Star senior Shabazz Napier averages a team-leading 15.3 points and is 16 of 28 from 3-point range. However, he filled a set-up role against Maine, dishing out eight assists and taking just five shots to finish with seven points. He became the fourth player in school history with at least 1,000 points and 500 assists.

"It's just a remarkable feat by him," UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. "That's what you get when you stay here for a long time. You have the opportunity to win and to be around great players. You get the opportunity to share the basketball and also make plays, too."

Napier and the Huskies might have a good opportunity to continue their long-distance success against Stanford (7-2), which ranks among the nation's bottom 100 teams by allowing opponents to shoot 36.1 percent from beyond the arc.

UConn, which faces a second straight Pac-12 team Saturday at Washington, puts its 54-game non-conference home win streak on the line Wednesday. The Huskies improved to 4-0 against Stanford with an 85-74 win in the second round of the 2003 NCAA tournament.

Stanford totaled 175 points and shot a combined 59.1 percent in wins over South Dakota State and UC Davis to bounce back from an 88-67 loss to Pittsburgh in the Legends Classic on Nov. 26 in Brooklyn. The Cardinal return to Brooklyn to face Michigan on Saturday.

"We wanted a tough schedule and wanted to play these games prior to (Pac-12) play starting," coach Johnny Dawkins said. "It is important for us going into conference play to play teams that are a similar caliber as what we will face."

Stanford has lost six straight non-conference games away from home against Top 25 opponents since an 82-81 overtime victory over then-No. 25 Marquette in the second round of the 2008 NCAA tournament.

Guard Chasson Randle averages a team-leading 18.2 points and shoots 52.4 percent. He went 5 of 6 from 3-point range and scored a team-high 16 during Saturday's 83-56 rout of UC Davis.

Tagged: Stanford, Maine, Connecticut

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