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Eagles Fall To Hornets 4-3

East Hartford jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings but East Catholic’s rally fell short in a 4-3 loss at home in Manchester Thursday afternoon.

Christian Caballero of East Hartford puts the tag on Josh Zbierski of East Catholic at the plate as he tried to score from second base during their baseball game Thursday afternoon. East Hartford held on for a 4-3 victory.

Christian Caballero of East Hartford puts the tag on Josh Zbierski of East Catholic at the plate as he tried to score from second base during their baseball game Thursday afternoon. East Hartford held on for a 4-3 victory.

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Hungry Huskies Win Fourth Championship

After the game, UConn senior guard, Shabazz Napier, explained to the crowd at AT&T Stadium in Dallas Texas how UConn defeated the odds, and some of the country’s highest ranked teams, to win their fourth national title. They were hungry. They were the “Hungry Huskies.” UConn left it all on the floor as they beat an extremely talented Kentucky team by a score of 60 to 53.

Click here to read Dom Amore game story and click here to read his story about how this championship will be a goldmine for recruiting, and a new contract for the coach. Click here to read Jeff Jacobs column on how the Huskies won the championship by climbing one step at a time.

UConn Huskies guard Shabazz Napier, 13, reacts after the game.

UConn Huskies guard Shabazz Napier, 13, reacts after the game.

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Battle Of The Undefeated

On Monday afternoon UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said “There’s no matchup for Kayla McBride and Jewell Loyd. I don’t think anybody in the country has figured out how to guard those two. And I’m not sure we’re going to be able to guard them either.” Maryland thought they had a plan but Notre Dame dispatched them easily with an 87-61 victory. Now two undefeated teams will compete for the national championship Tuesday night. For Lori Riley’s story on the rivalry click here:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Kayla McBride (21) drives up court as Maryland Terrapins guard Laurin Mincy (1) reaches in for the ball during the first half of the 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four in Nashville, TN., Sunday night. McBride scored 28 points and Notre Dame easily advanced with an 87-61 victory.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Kayla McBride (21) drives up court as Maryland Terrapins guard Laurin Mincy (1) reaches in for the ball during the first half of the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Nashville, TN., Sunday night. McBride scored 28 points and Notre Dame easily advanced with an 87-61 victory.

Notre Dame and UConn did not play each other this year and the rivalry has become more intense over the years so Tuesday nights game should be a beauty. For more photos of how the two teams reached the final click here:

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UConn Men Advance To NCAA Championship Game

The game ended much differently than it started. Midway through the first period, UConn was down by twelve points, 16 to 4. But after a called timeout UConn roared back to score 11 unanswered points, which saw DeAndrea Daniels hit the three-point- shots. When UConn ended the first half with a three point lead, the tide had turned, and the Huskies had the waves at their back the rest of the way. UConn defeated the Florida Gators Saturday night to advance the the NCAA Division I Championship game against Kentucky Monday.

Click here to read Dom Amore’s game story. Click here to read Paul Doyle’s story on Shabazz Napier, the kid from Roxbury. Click here to read Jeff Jacobs’ column about UConn being one game away from redemption. Click here for Dom Amore story on UConn brimming with confidence.

DeAndre Daniels signals #1 after scoring a 3-pointer in the 2nd half as UConn pulled ahead.

DeAndre Daniels signals #1 after scoring a 3-pointer in the 2nd half as UConn pulled ahead.

 

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The Road To Perfection

With a decisive 69-54 win over the Texas A&M Aggies in their NCAA Elite 8 game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in the Lincoln Regional Monday night, the UConn women’s basketball team (38-0) is two games away from a perfect season. A win over Stanford in the national semi-final in Nashville Sunday night would send them to an expected – well, at least hoped for – championship showdown with the only other undefeated team – the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. On the eve of the Huskies pursuit of a record ninth national championship, here is a look back at their Elite 8 victory in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Click here to read John Altavilla’s game story. Click here to read Lori Riley’s preview story on UConn’s semi-final game against Stanford.

LINCOLN, NE 03/28/14 UConn Huskies center Stefanie Dolson (31) (left) does a victory dance as her teammates celebrate as time runs out in the second half of the NCAA Lincoln Regional Championship at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Monday. UConn defeated the Texas A&M Aggies, 69-54, to advance to the Final Four. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

LINCOLN, NE 03/28/14 UConn Huskies center Stefanie Dolson (31) (left) does a victory dance as her teammates celebrate as time runs out in the second half of the NCAA Lincoln Regional Championship at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Monday. UConn defeated the Texas A&M Aggies, 69-54, to advance to the Final Four. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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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 Women Beat BYU In Sweet 16

The UConn women defeated the BYU Cougars, 70-51, before a packed house at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska, in an NCAA Sweet 16 game in the Lincoln Regional. Stefanie Dolson was given the assignment to guard BYU’s 6’7″ center, Jennifer Hamson.  After a tight first half, with eight lead changes and three ties, and UConn only up by one point at the half, the Huskies came out swinging in the second half, pulling away to win it and advance to the Elite 8.  They will play the Texas A&M Aggies as they continue their journey toward the Final Four and a record ninth national championship.  Read John Altavilla’s game story here.

LINCOLN, NE 03/28/14 UConn Huskies forward Breanna Stewart (30) is defended by Brigham Young Cougars forward Morgan Bailey (41) in the first half of an NCAA Sweet Sixteen game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Saturday.  CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

LINCOLN, NE 03/28/14 UConn Huskies forward Breanna Stewart (30) is defended by Brigham Young Cougars forward Morgan Bailey (41) in the first half of an NCAA Sweet Sixteen game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Saturday. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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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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UConn Loses To Louisville

The University of Connecticut didn’t play bad, they just ran into a very hot Louisville team. UConn was able to slow Louisville’s offense by with their own good defense, but Louisville’s defense was stifling at times. Especially in the closing seconds of the first half, which saw them score five quick points, the last basket off a steal. UConn lost to the University of Louisville Cardinals in the championship game of the American Athletic Conference at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn. Saturday night by a score of 71 to 61.

Click here to read Dom Amore’s game story and click here to read his story about the zone.

Click here to read Jeff Jacobs’ story on why Louisville is the team no one wants to play in the NCAA tournament.

University of Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright, 11, reacts to a referees call giving the ball to Louisville during the second period.

University of Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright, 11, reacts to a referees call giving the ball to Louisville during the second period.

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New Conference, Old Champions

After winning 18 Big East titles, the UConn women steamrolled their way through the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship tournament this past weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena with three decisive wins in as many days, going 34-0 on the season. They defeated Cincinnati 72-42, Rutgers 83-57, and Louisville 72-52. To read John Altavilla’s tournament wrap-up, click here. UConn will enter the upcoming NCAA tournament as an undefeated top seed in their pursuit of a ninth national title.

UNCASVILLE 03/10/14  The UConn women pose with the trophy after winning the American Athletic Conference Championship game at the Mohegan Sun Arena Monday. UConn defeated Louisville, 72-52.   CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

UNCASVILLE 03/10/14 The UConn women pose with the trophy after winning the American Athletic Conference Championship game at the Mohegan Sun Arena Monday. UConn defeated Louisville, 72-52. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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UConn Football | Pro Timing Day

ProDayBlog

Former UConn linebacker Yawin Smallwood gets set to work out for NFL scouts at the Burton Family Football Complex and the Shenkman Training Center on the UConn campus. Smallwood is nursing a hamstring injury but was able to participate in timed agility drills.  Patrick Raycraft | praycraft@courant.com

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UConn Seniors Swan Song

On Saturday, UConn All Americans and fan favorites Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley were honored at Senior Day ceremonies before a packed house at Gampel Pavilion on the Storrs campus. Each player was escorted into the arena by their parents to thunderous applause and cheering by the faithful fans and students.  Hartley, grinning from ear to ear, hoisted her framed jersey as she enjoyed the adulation at the close of her stellar UConn career.  Dolson, ever the cut-up, came out dancing in her inimitable style to the roar of her adoring fans. Then the two got to work: Hartley scored 20 points and Dolson surpassed the 1,000 rebound mark in UConn’s 72-35 trouncing of Rutgers.  They made it look easy, as usual, in their final regular season home game under the dome.  (They will play again in the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament starting the weekend of March 22 at Gampel.)  To read about their final home game, see John Altavilla’s story here.

STORRS 03/01/14 UConn seniors Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson hug after they were honored at Senior Day ceremonies at Gampel Pavilion before their game against Rutgers Saturday. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

STORRS 03/01/14 UConn seniors Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson hug after they were honored at Senior Day ceremonies at Gampel Pavilion before their game against Rutgers Saturday. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@courant.com

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Paschal Chukwu Helps Keep Fairfield Prep Undefeated

Xavier High School’s gymnasium was filled Tuesday night, as many in the crowd came to see Fairfield Prep’s big man. The Jesuits Senior 7-foot center, Paschal Chukwu, did not disappoint, with a couple of monster dunks, some blocked shots, and in general, creating a traffic jam under the Xavier basket. Fairfield Prep, won the game by a score of 78 to 63.

Fairfield Prep's Paschal Chukwu, 44, reacts after scoring on a dunk during the fourth period as Xavier High School's Joe McCormack, 10, looks on.

Fairfield Prep’s Paschal Chukwu, 44, reacts after scoring on a dunk during the fourth period as Xavier High School’s Joe McCormack, 10, looks on.

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Lady Huskies Destroy SMU Mustangs

On the eve of a forecast winter storm, the University of Connecticut Women’s basketball team created their own weather pattern inside Gampel Pavilion. The winds started suddenly at the tip off, and only picked up speed from there. The total team effort saw five players score in double digits, and led by Stefanie Dolson, they had a combined 14 blocked shots. The game was a college women’s version of this years Super Bowl.

For a better understanding of the game, please read John Altavilla’s game story by clicking here!

University of Connecticut Huskies guard Moriah Jefferson, 4, is fouled on her way to the basket as Southern Methodist University guard Keena Mays, 23, left, and Southern Methodist University guard Korina Baker, 10, try to stop the break away during the first half.

University of Connecticut Huskies guard Moriah Jefferson, 4, is fouled on her way to the basket as Southern Methodist University guard Keena Mays, 23, left, and Southern Methodist University guard Korina Baker, 10, try to stop the break away during the first half.

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Super Bowl XLVIII

The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will play for the NFL Championship at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, February, 2, 2014. The week leading up to big game turns into a media circus and for the football fan the NFL has created the largest “Fan Festival” by blocking off over a dozen city blocks in Times Square with a variety of events. I will try give a glimpse of the things I encounter along the way with a series of Instagram photos.

Hope you enjoy…

Gearing up for the "Big Game", I went out and purchased a new hat for Super Bowl XLVIII, MAD BOMBER meet @AngryJohnnie. It's supposed to be a cold night, but hey it is New England after all.

Gearing up for the “Big Game”, I went out and purchased a new hat for Super Bowl XLVIII, MAD BOMBER meet @AngryJohnnie. It’s supposed to be a cold night, but hey it is New England after all.

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UConn Outlasts Rutgers at the RAC

Behind a strong second half performance by Shabazz Napier, the Huskies held on for victory in New Jersey Saturday night. Up by five points at the half, UConn gave up their advantage early in the second half. After a slow start, Napier heated up late to help the Huskies regain the lead and finish as high scorer with 26 points.

UConn vs. Rutgers

 

— Piscataway, NJ  01/25/14 – UConn’s Shabazz Napier gets a shot off in the second half against Rutgers at the Rutgers Athletic Center.  Photo by BRAD HORRIGAN | bhorrigan@courant.com

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UConn Huskies Defeat Memphis Tigers

It wasn’t just a win, it was a big win. It was a victory road win in an unfriendly arena over the nationally ranked Memphis Tigers. This victory meant much more than one just one more mark in the win column, it seemed to send a message that this team is the real deal. DeAndre Daniels scored 18 of his game high 23 points in the second half to lead the way, and Shabazz Napier contributed 17 points, 10 assists, and gritty determination in the closing minutes to seal the win. And for Ryan Boatright, the win must have helped in briefly taking his mind of the loss of a close cousin, who was killed Monday night. The letters “AW,” for Arin Williams, were written on his left cheek for the game, as he played with little sleep. But he played hard, and he played aggressive.

Click here to read Jeff Jacobs’ column on Ryan Boatright.

And click here to read Dom Amore’s game story on the UConn win.

From left, University of Connecticut Huskies center Amida Brimah, 35, University of Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright, 11, and University of Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Niels Giffey, 5,  react after the game.

From left, University of Connecticut Huskies center Amida Brimah, 35, University of Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright, 11, and University of Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Niels Giffey, 5, react after the game.

 

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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 Heats Up A Cold Night

The temperature outside was 5 degrees, but the UConn woman created their own heat early in the game and beat the University of Houston Cougars by a score of 90 to 40. The starters sat for long portions of the game or the score would have been even more lopsided. The game was remarkable in that the women had a total of 17 blocked shots, tying a school record. Read John Altavilla’s game story here.

University of Connecticut Huskies forward Breanna Stewart, 30, blocks the shot of University of Houston Cougars forward Destini Texada, 12,  during the first half.

University of Connecticut Huskies forward Breanna Stewart, 30, blocks the shot of University of Houston Cougars forward Destini Texada, 12, during the first half.

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Huskies Vanquish Knights

The UConn women’s basketball team added another game to the win column when they visited the University of Central Florida Knights at UCF Arena in Orlando, Florida, on New Years Day.  In UConn’s second game playing in the new American Athletic Conference, they moved into the Knight’s house, with a large Husky fan section in tow, and rolled to a 77-49 victory. Stefanie Dolson rang in the new year with a 25 point, 12 rebound performance. Read John Altavilla’s game story here.

ORLANDO, FL 01/01/14 UConn Huskies guard Brianna Banks (13) grabs a loose ball from UCF Knights forward/center Erika Jones (55) in the first half against UCF at UCF Arena Wednesday.  UConn beat the Knights, 77-49. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@couant.com

ORLANDO, FL 01/01/14 UConn Huskies guard Brianna Banks (13) grabs a loose ball from UCF Knights forward/center Erika Jones (55) in the first half against UCF at UCF Arena Wednesday. UConn beat the Knights, 77-49. CLOE POISSON|cpoisson@couant.com

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East Catholic Boys Hoop defeat East Hartford

It was a close game throughout, even though the East Hartford boys basketball Eagles led for most of the game. But the East High School Hornets found a way to tie the game at the end of regulation and send it into overtime. The Eagles eventually went on to regain the lead in overtime and win by a score of 87 to 79,  in a battle between two strong neighboring town basketball teams. Both teams hit big baskets when needed, and tempers flew and technical fouls were doled out in the fourth period.

East Catholic High School guard, Winston Morgan, 5,  reacts after getting fouled with the score tied at 73 in the final seconds of the fourth period by East Hartford High School's, Rodley Adjei, 4, in the background. Morgan made both his shots, but East Hartford tied the score in the final seconds at 75 apiece to send the game into overtime.

East Catholic High School guard, Winston Morgan, 5, reacts after getting fouled with the score tied at 73 in the final seconds of the fourth period by East Hartford High School’s, Rodley Adjei, 4, in the background. Morgan made both his shots, but East Hartford tied the score in the final seconds at 75 apiece to send the game into overtime.

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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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UConn Women Dominate Duke 83-61

We all have “Bucket Lists”, mine included Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of the “Cameron Crazies”, which open in 1940 on the West Campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. It has been the site of many memorable basketball games, Tuesday night pitted the #1 UConn Huskies women’s basketball team against #2 ranked Duke. When the dust settled from the wood bleachers one thing was certain, UConn has few teams that can play 40 minutes at their level…

It was #1 UConn against #2 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC, Tuesday evening. At the conclusion of the game it was clear there are few teams that will be able to knock the Huskies from their lofty perch.

It was #1 UConn against #2 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC, Tuesday evening. At the conclusion of the game it was clear there are few teams that will be able to knock the Huskies from their lofty perch.

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High School Girls Basketball Beings

The 2013-2014 High School girls basketball season began this past week with Weaver High School playing on Farmington High School in Farmington. The game was a battle between two of last years best teams, with Weaver making it to the Class M semifinals, and Farmington winning the Class L championship. Although the Farmington Indians held a first-half lead of up to 12 points, the Weaver Beavers fought back to win the game by a score of 60 to 51.

Click here to read Lori Riley’s game story.

High School girls basketball kicked off its season this when the Farmington High School girls basketball team hosted Weaver High School in their gym in Farmington. Farmington High School's Mary Schoenerr, 2, passes to Farmington High School's Courtney Hofer, 22, as Weaver High School's Kamari Mack, 34, and Weaver High School's DeJane James, 3, play defense.

High School girls basketball kicked off its season this when the Farmington High School girls basketball team hosted Weaver High School in their gym in Farmington. Farmington High School’s Mary Schoenerr, 2, passes to Farmington High School’s Courtney Hofer, 22, as Weaver High School’s Kamari Mack, 34, and Weaver High School’s DeJane James, 3, play defense.

 

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