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Prayers Answered

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Only 8 days removed from an SMU dismantling, UConn desperately needed to make a statement in Orlando. A strong AAC tournament showing would ensure an NCAA tournament bid; a poor performance would lead to a tense Selection Sunday and perhaps only an invite to the  NIT. What played out will not soon be forgotten by Husky fans. After Cincinnati guard Kevin Johnson buried a three-pointer with .8 seconds left in the third overtime, UConn’s season appeared to be doomed. However, Jalen Adams’ 60-foot prayer was answered and the Huskies didn’t look back, discarding Temple and Memphis to become conference champions. AAC Champs…and in memorable fashion. Along the way, Daniel Hamilton impressed enough to be named the Tournament’s Outstanding player.

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Dynasty – Ten Titles

For the past three weeks or so, I’ve been holed up trying to edit more than 20 years of photographs of the UConn women’s basketball team for a book on the 10 NCAA Championships they’ve won. A daunting task in many ways since we were limited to about 10-12 pages per chapter. Daunting, too, given the reality of how technology has changed from their first victory against Tennessee in 1995, when our photographers were still shooting film, to this year when Cloe Poisson and Michael McAndrews covered them during each round digitally shooting both stills and video to try to satisfy the enormous appetite of our readers online, in print and through social media.

My how times have changed.

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Minneapolis, MN 4.2.1995 UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma has enjoyed the ride that led to his first national championship. His players hoist him perfectly on their shoulders and carry him off the court. Photo by Brad Clift / The Hartford Courant

To view more photos and history of the UConn women’s basketball team click the View More link:

Passages from the Hartford Courant’s book,“Dynasty: UConn Women’s Ten-Title Season”, were used in each chapter here were written by John Altavilla, Hartford Courant UConn women’s basketball beat reporter.

To purchase the book go to this pre-order page:

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UConn Men Defeat MSU Spartans, Advance to Final Four

The University  of Connecticut men’s basketball team continued their tradition of creating remarkable memories for Connecticut fans on the wooden planks of the “World’s Most Famous Arena.”  They started off strong against the powerful Michigan State University Spartans, but finished even stronger. In between, however, they created a little drama by  falling behind by as many as nine points in the second half. But when the final buzzer sounded, the Huskies ended up defeating the Spartans by a score of 60 to 54 in the NCAA Division I East Regional at Madison Garden in New York. They will now travel to Dallas Texas to play in the Final Four.

Shabazz Napier led the Huskies in points, 25, and bloody nose’s, 1, as UConn fought hard in front of a Connecticut friendly crowd. Former UConn players from past Championships were in the audience.

Click here to read Dom Amore’s game story. Click here, to read Paul Doyle’s story on Boatright’s defense. Click here to read Jeff Jakobs’ column on Kevin Ollie taking the stairs. 

In the closing seconds of the game, UConn Huskies guard Shabazz Napier, 13, flashes a four finger salute possibly signifying a trip to the Final Four. It will be Napier's second trip to the "Big Dance," as he was a member of the Championship team of 2011.

In the closing seconds of the game, UConn Huskies guard Shabazz Napier, 13, flashes a four finger salute possibly signifying a trip to the Final Four. It will be Napier’s second trip to the “Big Dance,” as he was a member of the Championship team of 2011.

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UConn Is Great!!!… 8

The University of Connecticut Huskies added to their long string of impressive victories in “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” with a hard fought victory over the Iowa State Cyclones by a score of 81 to 76, on their way through the NCCA’s Division One tournament. By winning the game, UConn left the Sweet Sixteen and embraced the Great Eight, and a chance to battle Michigan State for a trip to the Final Four.

For further coverage, please click here to read the game story by Dom Amore, click here, to read Paul Doyle’s story, and click here to read Jeff Jacobs’ column. And please click here, or the link below, to see more photos from the game made by myself, and Courant colleague Brad Horrigan.

UConn Huskies forward DeAndre Daniels, 2, reacts after hitting a three-point shot as Iowa State Cyclones guard DeAndre Kane, 50, looks away during the second half.

UConn Huskies forward DeAndre Daniels, 2, reacts after hitting a three-point shot as Iowa State Cyclones guard DeAndre Kane, 50, looks away during the second half.

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Championship Weekend

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03.22.2014 – Uncasville, Ct – East Catholic players John Lambert, Khalid Thompson, Pat McPadden and Winston Morgan celebrate in the final seconds of their 87-60 win over Weaver. Photograph by Mark Mirko | mmirko@courant.com

East Catholic boys and Capital Prep girls came out of Mohegan Sun Arena State Champions on Saturday. East Catholic defeated Weaver 87-60. Capital Prep defeated Weaver 69-53.

Game Photos are HERE

Lori Riley’s Capital Prep story is HERE.

Tom Yantz’s East Catholic story is HERE.

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UConn Women Take on Temple in Bridgeport

UConn took on the Temple Owls at Webster Bank Arena Saturday afternoon. Bria Hartley led all scorers with 19 points and Kiah Stokes pulled down 18 rebounds. The Huskies improved to 17-0 before heading to Texas for Monday’s game against Baylor.

UConn Women's Hoops vs. Temple—  Bridgeport, CT – 01/11/14  – UConn’s Breanna Stewart battles Temple’s Natasha Thames for a loose ball during the first half of Saturday’s contest at Webster Bank Arena. Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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UConn Women Overpower Cal at MSG

Offensively the UConn women started off slowly in the first half of their matchup with California at Madison Square Garden Sunday.  But as the game wore on, the Huskies proved to be far superior to their west coast adversaries.  Breanna Stewart led the way with 29 points (in only 27 minutes) and 10 rebounds.

UConn women's Hoops Versus CalNew York, NY – 12/22/13 – UConn players, left to right: Brianna Banks, Bria Hartley, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson celebrate on the bench after a basket by Tierney Lawlor  (not pictured) against California in the Maggie Dixon Classic Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.  Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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Wolcott Twins Ask Santa for Army Brother’s Return

Nine year-old twin sisters Lauren and Emily Hart wanted only the return of their brother, US Army Pvt. Tyler Hart, from Fort Eustis, VA, for Christmas.  After asking Santa for just that on Saturday, they got their wish when their brother emerged from a giant gift box at Home Depot in Southington.

Sisters Ask Santa for Brother's Return—  SOUTHINGTON  12/21/13  Lauren, center, and Emily, far right, Hart hug their brother  Pvt. Tyler Hart, 18, after he emerged from a giant gift box Saturday. 

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Brookfield Beats Valley Regional in Class M Semifinal

Brookfield came from behind to beat Valley Regional at Cheshire High School Saturday afternoon and book a ticket to the Class M championship game.

Sister Recycling

 

Cheshire, CT – 12/07/13 – Brookfield’s Daniel Jackson, right, celebrates with Brad Westmark after Westmark’s fourth quarter interception sealed the game over Valley Regional in the Class M football semifinal at Cheshire High School Saturday. BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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Class L Girls Volleyball Semifinals

Down two games to zero, Farmington came back to beat Ledyard in dramatic fashion in the first Class L girls volleyball semifinal at New Britain High School Thursday night. In the second semifinal match, RHAM held on to defeat Bristol Eastern in an emotional five-game victory. After semis this competitive and exciting, the final will have some big shoes to fill.

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New Britain, CT – 11/14/13 – The RHAM bench celebrates at the conclusion of their victory over Bristol Eastern in the Class L girls volleyball semifinal match at New Britain High School Thursday night. BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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UConn Loses Late to Michigan In Football Classic

After UConn’s loss to Michigan by a score of 24 to 24, Head Coach, Paul Pasqualoni is reflecting on the loss and the next game in today’s story by Paul Doyle.  After leading 14-7 at the half and 21-7 late in the third quarter, Pasqualoni says UConn’s margin for error is small, but he also talked about the impressive crowd at Rentschler FIeld.

Below are photos of the game by the Courant’s Brad Horrigan, who covered the game.

And read this story by the Courant’s Desmond Conner, if you want a good wrap-up  of the tough loss to Michigan.

Connecticut receiver Deshon Foxx is stopped short of the first down on a third-and-29 play by Michigan's Jarrod Wilson (22) and Blake Countess late in the game at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, on Saturday, September 21, 2013. Michigan won, 24-21.

Connecticut receiver Deshon Foxx is stopped short of the first down on a third-and-29 play by Michigan’s Jarrod Wilson (22) and Blake Countess late in the game at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, on Saturday, September 21, 2013. Michigan won, 24-21.

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2013 Military Bowl at Rentschler Field

The Military Bowl features Connecticut’s best high school football players in a summer showcase of talent at Rentschler Field.

East Hartford, CT - 06.29.2013 - National Guard defensive lineman Zack Creeron, right, tries to bring down Marines quarterback Quinn Fleeting in the 2013 Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame Classic Military Bowl at Rentschler Field Saturday afternoon. BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

East Hartford, CT – 06.29.2013 – National Guard defensive lineman Zack Creeron, right, tries to bring down Marines quarterback Quinn Fleeting in the 2013 Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame Classic Military Bowl at Rentschler Field Saturday afternoon. BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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First Round of the Travelers Tournament

Ideal golf weather was on hand for the opening round of the 2013 Travelers Tournament at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

Charlie Hoffman sits atop the Travelers Championship leader board with a 9 under 61 during the opening round of the 2013 Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell Thursday. Hoffman looks out over the 17th green waiting for his turn to putt.

Charlie Hoffman sits atop the Travelers Championship leader board with a 9 under 61 during the opening round of the 2013 Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell Thursday. Hoffman looks out over the 17th green and may have been reflecting on last years finish when he held a 2 stroke lead on the same hole but wound up with a double bogie and then a bogie on 18 to give the championship to Marc Leishman.

 

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CCSU Graduation

Central Connecticut State University’s commencement exercises were held Saturday at XL Center in Hartford.  Photos by Brad Horrigan | bhorrigan@courant.comCCSU graduationCCSU graduationCCSU graduationCCSU graduation

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SCSU Graduation

Jayson Holt, of Mt. Vernon, NY, reacts to the announcement of the School of Business, at the Southern Connecticut State University at Webster Bank Arena Friday morning.

Jayson Holt, of Mt. Vernon, NY, reacts to the announcement of the School of Business, at the Southern Connecticut State University at Webster Bank Arena Friday morning.

PHOTOS BY BRAD HORRIGAN|borrigan@courant.com

Let the graduations begin! Courant photographer Brad Horrigan was on hand to cover the SCSU commencement ceremonies held at Webster Arena in Bridgeport Friday morning. Stay tuned to this space for lots more graduations all week.

Southern Connecticut State University commencement exercises at Webster Bank Arena Friday morning.

Southern Connecticut State University commencement exercises at Webster Bank Arena Friday morning.

 

Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream gives graduates a samples of ice cream after they receive their diplomas at the Southern Connecticut State University at Webster Bank Arena Friday morning.

Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream gives graduates a samples of ice cream after they receive their diplomas at the Southern Connecticut State University at Webster Bank Arena Friday morning.