After a spectacular run through its non-league schedule, Connecticut began its first-ever foray in American Athletic Conference play with a pair of surprising losses. The Huskies, who have won four of five games since, will attempt to move over the .500 mark in the league for the first time this season Saturday when they travel to Rutgers. Connecticut began the campaign 11-1 before suffering a pair of road setbacks against Houston and Southern Methodist in early January.

The Huskies quickly rebounded with three straight victories - including a 10-point win at Memphis - and bounced back from a home loss to Louisville with a 24-point thumping against Temple on Tuesday. All of the Scarlet Knights' losses in conference action have come versus four of the five teams with winning records in the AAC, including Tuesday's 70-56 defeat at SMU. Connecticut holds a 35-14 advantage in the all-time series, although Rutgers managed a 67-60 win the last time these former Big East rivals met in Piscataway in 2012.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

ABOUT CONNECTICUT (15-4, 3-3 AAC): DeAndre Daniels posted career highs with 31 points and 12 rebounds against Temple, helping fill the void left behind by Ryan Boatright, who missed the game to attend the funeral of his 20-year-old cousin. It continued a roller coaster three-game stretch for the 6-9 junior, who followed a 23-point, 11-rebound effort at Memphis on Jan. 16 with a three-point, four-board performance against Louisville. "I'm a laid-back guy…but I just need to go out and play aggressive every time because it will help my team and help us win games," Daniels told UConn's website.

ABOUT RUTGERS (8-11, 2-4): The Scarlet Knights outboarded SMU - the team with the 10th-best rebounding differential in the country entering Saturday - but hardly gave themselves a chance to succeed by missing 15 of their first 16 field-goal attempts. Rutgers, which has posted its two worst field-goal percentage efforts of the season in consecutive games, has shot at a 33.9-percent clip or worse in three of its last four games. Guard Myles Mack ranks first in the conference in free-throw percentage (87.1), second in steals (2.1), fourth in assists (4.4) and sixth in scoring (16.5).


1. Connecticut has converted at least 80 percent of its free throws in four straight and eight of the last nine contests after doing so only twice in its first 10 games.

2. Rutgers has averaged 77.3 points while going 2-1 at home during league play and 54 points while going winless in three road contests.

3. The Huskies' plus-20 rebounding differential against Temple was the highest of the season and marked the second time in four games they grabbed at least 16 more boards than their opponent.

PREDICTION: Connecticut 78, Rutgers 71