HARTFORD – Some thoughts, quotes and notes from UConn’s OT win over Cincinnati First blush: Great win over a solid team, another game I would have counted as a loss before the season began.
So that erases any disappointment from the Villanova game, or at least it should.
Once again, this team is fun. It’s flawed, but it’s fun. Out-rebounded 44 to 28, scoreless for nearly nine minutes, and they come out of it and win.
“I’m just sad,” Shabazz Napier said, “because if this team got in the NCAA Tournament, we could make a crazy run. We’re so together. We’re playing with so much passion. The NCAA Tournament is missing a great team.”
Major props to Omar Calhoun for playing with the wrist wrapped. He couldn’t shoot, but he gave UConn what he could. That’s the mark of a pro.
“I’m glad he’s my teammate,” Napier said.
Kevin Ollie was effusive in his praise for Ryan Boatright, for keeping his head in the game on defense against Cashmere Wright, scoreless in the second half.
… And for DeAndre Daniels, for not sulking when he was taken out. I’m going write about Daniels tomorrow. He told me, “last year, I would have sat on the bench sobbing, ‘why did they take me out?’”
Not this year, Daniels got back in, scored 17, blocked four shots. Here is Kevin Ollie’s take on the game. UConn is 232-85 in Hartford, and 7-2 this season. They are done at XL this year.
Here are some pictures from the game.
Here is your box score.
Another long, underproductive night for Tyler Olander – two rebounds in 32 minutes. Phil Nolan played only three minutes, R.J. Evans three. So Ollie basically played six guys, and one, Calhoun, was a shadow of his usual self. … And UConn win.
Last word from Ryan Boatright, “It would have been devastating for us to drop two straight. This is ouyr last XL game of the year, and we really wanted to leave our fans with something good to remember.”