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The UConn Fast Break - 1/12/2022
Basketball and hockey return to action, with mixed results.
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UConn men’s basketball lost in gut-punch fashion at Seton Hall in overtime on Saturday to fall to 10-4. But judging by the reaction of some UConn fans, you’d think they had just gotten blown out by East Carolina at home to fall out of NIT contention.
The men’s hoops team was coming off a long layoff after the vast majority of the roster and the head coach had COVID-19. Their performance ultimately showed a lot more positives than negatives.
They’ve lost four games by a combined 14 points, none of them by more than four, and have been without starters due to injury in all of those games. Of course, they need to clean up the late-game execution, but nobody needs to sound any alarms.
The same is true for men’s hockey. After winning a huge game at BC Saturday night, the Huskies came out flat in their next game Tuesday night, losing to AIC.
You may not know much about that school or program, but they’re having a good season; this isn’t a bad loss. UConn started its backup goaltender for this non-conference matchup and having an off night after an emotional victory is not the craziest thing to happen to a sports team.
The #IceBus needs to redeem itself over the rest of this month. With games against BU, New Hampshire, Merrimack, and Yale up next, Mike Cavanaugh’s squad should dominate over this next stretch before a potential matchup against Quinnipiac—currently ranked no. 2 in the country—to close out CT Ice.
Dan Hurley’s squad is in a similar situation. Hopefully, they are as close to fully healthy as they have been in months and are ready to dominate against their next stretch of schedule, starting with Wednesday night’s matchup against St. John’s.
After that, the Huskies have Providence (maybe, the Friars just had a COVID cancellation), Butler (twice), Georgetown, DePaul, and Creighton before a huge matchup at Villanova on February 4th.
On KenPom, UConn is currently projected to win all seven of these games before Nova. They really ought to, or at least come close.
If not, we can begin to worry.
Preview: UConn men’s basketball vs. St. John’s | 8:30 p.m., FS1 - A big game for men’s hoops tonight as they look to return to their winning ways after the tough loss at Seton Hall.
UConn to require proof of vaccine to attend games - Any fan that attends a UConn event will now need to show either proof of vaccination or a negative PCR or antigen test as of Jan. 15.
Men’s basketball falls to No. 24 Seton Hall in overtime - It was their first time on the court since Dec. 21 and they were still not at full strength, but the Huskies hung tough in a 90-87 overtime defeat.
2022 signee Alex Karaban enrolls early - Two members of men’s basketball’s Class of 2022 are already on campus, as Corey Floyd Jr. reclassified to join the team for the fall semester.
Sue Bird will return for 2022 season - The UConn and WNBA legend said on Friday that she will play another season.
Men’s hockey struggles against AIC - The Huskies were not at their best.
Men’s hockey takes down No. 18 Boston College - It was a thrilling 5-4 win for the Huskies at Kelley Rink up in Chestnut Hill. After the Eagles tied the game inside a minute left, head coach Mike Cavanaugh took a crucial timeout to keep his team calm and get the win.
Can men’s hockey’s power play be fixed? - Despite converting with the extra skater on Saturday, the Huskies’ power play has struggled as of late.
Women’s basketball survives Creighton, 63-55 - There was certainly some rust for the shorthanded Huskies, who had not played since Dec. 19 and missed four games due to COVID-19.
Aubrey Griffin likely out for season - The junior has not played this year due to a litany of injuries and underwent surgery on her back to repair a disk.
Caroline Durcharme proves an important piece - The freshman has continually improved all season, stepping up in Paige Bueckers’ absence.
Men’s basketball game against Butler rescheduled - The game was originally slated for New Year’s Day and will now be played Jan. 18.
Women’s hockey signs Team IMPACT player - Team IMPACT is a nonprofit that helps children suffering with serious illnesses through a team environment and Gabby signed a letter of intent on Monday.
Terry Larrier drops 42 in G-League game - The former UConn standout was 12-22 from the field against Maine for the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s affiliate.
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Kevin O’Neil gave UConn its first-ever victory at Kelley Rink with this incredible game-winning goal. BC tied the game with 54 seconds left, but O’Neil responded with a snapshot from the right circle to secure the win.
UConn women’s basketball has the two longest winning streaks in college basketball history and five years ago this week, tied its own record with a dominant victory over No. 20 USF for its 90th consecutive win.
The 102-37 decision, a 65-point demolition, was its largest win over a ranked opponent in program history. The Huskies scored 48 points in the paint and held the Bulls to 23 percent shooting from the field. Saniya Chong led the way with 20 points. With the win, the Huskies matched the 90-game winning streak they had six years earlier.
The UConn Blog’s game story includes all the incredible stats from a historic beatdown, which also features Ian Bethune’s photo gallery and postgame video from Geno Auriemma, Kia Nurse, Chong, and Gabby Williams.
UConn, Great Pic
Ian Bethune was on location for men’s hockey’s matchup with Boston College and the women’s basketball game against Creighton, here are some of his best shots from those days.
You can check out the full galleries from all the games Ian attends on The UConn Blog!
Hurley addresses playing time
In his most recent press availability, Dan Hurley addressed the playing time of Rahsool Diggins and Samson Johnson, two promising freshmen who have not seen much action this season.
Coming in as the no. 58 recruit nationally and drawing comparisons to Shabazz Napier, I’m sure Diggins expected to see more time on the court. This is especially true given the need for more capable ballhandlers on this year’s team. He’s played in five games, and not since Dec. 4 against Grambling.
Samson Johnson, a 4-star center ranked 69th in the class, is behind a lot of very talented players on the depth chart. But so far he’s appeared in just seven games, mostly blowouts, with nine minutes combined across the West Virginia and St. Bonaventure games, his last action of the season.
Hurley seems to be suggesting that those two are not showing enough in practice to earn playing time on game days.
"There's no politics in minutes. If there's a guy that's killing it in practice it would be a mutiny on this ship if I was holding a guy back. Throughout my career as a coach, I've played freshmen, started them, played them in significant roles. ...
"Samson is a significant talent and Rahsool has the chance to be a good player... when you consistently show us you are a better option than what we are sending on the court then you go out there."
With Jalen Gaffney struggling, it seems crazy that Diggins hasn’t seen more time. But Hurley is going to ride with his experience over the guys who he wants to see better effort from in practice, it seems.
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