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The UConn Fast Break - 5/8/2023
Beers boost baseball, and other notes as spring sports near the close of their regular seasons.
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. Happy Commencement weekend to those who celebrated, including Ray Allen.
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Two-dollar beer night strikes again
After a $2 Miller Lite promotion helped deliver a raucous environment for UConn men’s basketball’s big win over then-No. 20 Providence in February, the athletic department found a way to run it back.
The discounted brews made their triumphant return at Elliot Ballpark on the Friday night of graduation weekend against Seton Hall, and it was one hell of a night.
The Huskies trailed 7-1 through two-and-a-half innings but after two runs in the bottom of the third, the home side gave the crowd something to cheer about in the fourth, scoring six runs as the Huskies stole five bases, much to the delight of the well-lubricated crowd, and they took the lead.
Seems like every sport should get a $2 beer night!
Tristen Newton was UConn’s missing piece ($) – The graduate transfer played a huge role in the national championship effort.
UConn set for European tour – The Huskies will visit three different countries.
UConn WBB Weekly – Thought on the national title drought.
Hook C Newsletter – A deep dive into the Huskies’ postseason odds and a look at the week ahead.
Huskies heading to the NFL – Three Huskies signed as undrafted free agents, and another three were invited to minicamp.
Support the most in-depth coverage of UConn men’s hockey around!
Kate Shaffer had four goals on Friday afternoon and UConn women’s lacrosse needed all of them to advance to the Big East Tournament final, including this net drive.
Let’s discuss some of the most iconic graduating classes in recent UConn history.
The Class of 2004, most famous for delivering the first of two dual national titles in men’s and women’s basketball, includes Taliek Brown and Emeka Okafor (who graduated in three years with many academic distinctions) on the men’s side, while Diana Taurasi and Morgan Valley were seniors for the women’s team.
The Class of 2011 is arguably more impressive. Maya Moore leads the way as she took her team merely to the Final Four in her final season in Storrs. She’s joined on the hardwood by three-year graduate Kemba Walker and Charles Okwandu. Doug Elliot, Elliot Glynn, Greg Nappo, Mike Nemeth and Kevin Vance each were picked in that June’s MLB Draft after leading their team to its first Super Regional appearance, following the quintet of juniors that also were selected. On the gridiron, Anthony Sherman and Scott Lutrus each walked across the stage, as well.
Congrats to the Class of 2023!
UConn, Great Pic
Some of Ian Bethune’s best from baseball and lacrosse.
UConn’s new athletics village has also led to more tournaments hosted on campus. After six years at the Ballpark at Rosemont, two of the last three Big East softball tournaments have been held in Storrs, and it will be there this year too.
This weekend, women’s lacrosse is playing host, as the program welcomed Denver, Marquette, and Villanova for the Big East Tournament, with an automatic bid to the 29-team NCAA Tournament on the line.
This year, there are seven on-campus Big East championships out of the 17 sponsored by the conference and UConn is the only league member to host multiple events.
Elliot Ballpark, Toscano Family Ice Forum, and the rebuilt Burrill Family Field and Morrone Stadium, in addition to the Rizza Performance Center, have transformed the southern end of campus. This will continue into the fall, as the old Freitas Ice Forum will be renovated into a volleyball facility.
We’d also like to shout out the women’s lacrosse team. They managed a 17-16 win against Marquette in Friday night’s Big East semifinal before falling to Denver 11-6 in the final. The Hartford Courant has pointed out that they’re “stacked” with people from CT:
West Hartford native and Conard grad Kate Shaffer leads the team in scoring with 54 goals and 27 assists on the season. Lia LaPrise, of Windsor and Loomis Chaffee, is second on the team in points, having racked up 34 goals and 27 assists. Head coach Katie Woods is from South Windsor.
The Huskies end their regular season with a 12-6 overall record, 4-2 in conference after a tough start to the season. Early on, they took losses to ranked James Madison and UMass squads but bounced back with an impressive 11-10 overtime win against No.11 Yale.
UConn dominated fellow Big East opponents including a 22-13 win against Butler and a 22-6 triumph over Xavier. Despite falling short in the Big East Tournament, the Huskies still have the opportunity to end their season on a positive note.
For the third straight year, UConn is in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies will face Ivy League champion Penn this Friday at 1 pm in the first round. The winner will play regional bracket host Boston College in the next round.
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