PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Cold, icy night in Jersey, but the Huskies enjoyed a warm, fuzzy ride home. This was a game that could have gotten away – at Rutgers, big crowd. Conference wins on the road are never easy, and UConn did a good job absorbing the Rutgers’ run, steadying the ship and closing the game out.
Shabazz, Shabazz, Shabazz … another one of those sluggish first halves, explosive second halves. “The feel of the game changes at that point,” Niels Giffey said. “And you know he’s just taking it over.”
That kind of game for Napier and the Huskies. … There may be better players, but it would be hard to imagine a more valuable player on this level right now. Great players do what he did tonight, and good teams find ways to win games like this.
Kudos to DeAndre Daniels well deserved. Who thought, when you saw him helped off the court, that he’d be back? His presence in the second half meant something.
Terrence Samuel played five minutes, but had a key play in the game. Kevin Ollie’s confidence in him may be growing now.
The inside game was there: Amida Brimah, especially in the first half, and Phil Nolan. That’s becoming more consistent in conference play.
Now UConn has to start piling up these wins against the soft bottom of the conference – Houston next.
Here is the main game story for the Sunday Courant.
Here’s Kevin Ollie’s take:
Today’s game was a great game for everybody that played, and how we did it in the second half was remarkable – holding them down to 32 percent , I think it changed the game. I think the last 8:58 we held them to one basket, which is amazing.
We outrebounded a team again. We just gutted it out. ‘Bazz was pretty amazing that second half, scoring 20 points, but it took a team effort. Ryan [Boatright] got a great offensive rebound, Terrence [Samuel] came in and got a wonderful three-point play when there was a little turbulence on the plane and settled us down.
Phillip [Nolan] and Amida [Brimah] played great down low. Phil, you look on the stat sheet you’re not going to see a lot of numbers, but his defensive presence – being up on pick and rolls, Amida in the first half giving us those second chance points, that was great.
Any time as a coach you look at the stat sheet and you see points in the paint, 34-12, that means the team played aggressive, played assertive, they out-willed their opponent. That’s what they did tonight.
Rutgers is getting this thing turned around. I‘ve got so much admiration for coach Eddie Jordan. I I know he’s going to do a great job. … Maybe the last time we’ll be playing in the RAC and it’s good to come out with a win.
I was very surprised DeAndre [Daniels] was able to come back. It was a high ankle Continue reading