UConn men's basketball to play former conference foe Providence in exhibition game

Published on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 22:49
Written by Neill Ostrout

Journal Inquirer

The UConn men’s basketball team will meet an old rival in a new fashion next week.

In a surprise move, the Huskies announced Tuesday that they will be playing an exhibition against Providence Oct. 25 at Mohegan Sun Arena. The game, which will benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, will begin at 7 p.m.

The Huskies have a 44-28 lead in a series that began in 1928. Their last meeting was March 9, 2013, a 63-59 UConn overtime win in in Storrs. That was also the Huskies’ final Big East game.

Normally, Division I teams are restricted to playing only two exhibitions per season, and must play teams in a lower division. Division I teams can play scrimmages against each other but no tickets may be sold and the game may not be publicized.

But the NCAA has granted a waiver for charity games such as this in the wake of hurricanes. Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have all been hit hard by hurricanes this year.

Kansas and Missouri, whose rivalry was also chilled by conference realigment, have similar plans to stage an exhibition.

Providence coach Ed Cooley called UConn coach Kevin Ollie recently to suggest the former conference rivals get together, and Ollie apparently agreed quickly.

“I am happy that we have this opportunity to help some of the victims that have suffered so much from the devastating effects of the hurricanes that hit last month,” Cooley said in a statement released by the school. “As soon as I reached out to Kevin, he was excited to play the game and have his program be involved in this event. We hope that the great fan bases from both schools will come together to support this cause.”

According to a UConn official, Mohegan Sun officials are not charging the schools for the use of the court.

UConn will still play its two originally scheduled exhibition games: Oct. 30 against Merrimack College in Hartford, and Nov. 5 against Queens College in Storrs.

The Huskies open the regular season Nov. 10 against Colgate.

Tickets for the Providence-UConn game are available through TicketMaster or the Mohegan Sun box office. They have been priced at $50, $25 and $10.

Providence will be the home team for the game.

There is a bit of intrigue to the matchup as Providence freshman guard Makai Ashton-Langford signed with the Huskies only to change his mind and ask for a release from his scholarship. UConn granted the request, and Ashton-Langford later signed with the Friars.

Posted in New Britain Herald, General Sports, UConn on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 22:49. Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2017 22:52.