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Toughest test yet for men’s basketball

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Toughest test yet for men’s basketball

The University of Arkansas men’s basketball team faces its toughest test to date on Saturday when it takes on the No. 8 ranked and defending national champion UConn Huskies at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., as part of the SEC-Big East Challenge, at 2:15 p.m. central.Arkansas (5-1) is on a three-game winning streak after a 97-64 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday night. In the contest, five Razorbacks scored in double figures led by sophomore Mardracus Wade who tallied a career high 20 points and hit 70 percent of his shots. Freshman Devonta Abron was also at his best playing a career high 20 minutes and scoring 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbing a career best six rebounds.Saturday’s contest however will be Arkansas’ toughest challenge of the season to date. Not only is it the Razorbacks first trip outside the state of Arkansas this year, it is also Arkansas’ first game against a ranked opponent, first time that the Razorbacks have played the defending national champion since 2007-08 and first national television broadcast of the year.UConn (6-1) has had a week to prepare for the Razorbacks having played its last game on Nov. 26 against Florida State at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Huskies went 2-1 in their three games in the Bahamas, defeating UNC Ashville and Florida State, but losing to Central Florida, 68-63. UConn is led by sophomore Jeremy Lamb who is averaging 21.1 points per game, but sophomore Shabazz Napier (17.9) and freshman Ryan Boatright (14.9) are not to be overlooked. The Huskies also have great rebounding with four players averaging better than 5.0 per game.Saturday’s game is a part of the SEC-Big East Challenge which Arkansas is taking part in for the second straight year. Last season the Razorbacks defeated Seton Hall in Louisville, 71-62, in the Challenge which takes on a new format in 2011-12The Arkansas-Connecticut game will be broadcast on the radio across the Razorback Sports Network from IMG College with Chuck Barrett and Rick Schaeffer giving the call. The contest will also be televised on ESPN to a national audience with Bill Raftery and Jon Sciambi calling the action.The Razorbacks remain on the road for their next game at Oklahoma next Saturday, Dec. 10.



Sports Category : Basketball (M)