Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting the Mocking off their back

With George Mason and San Diego still lingering on everyone’s minds, UConn didn’t take any chances and kept the foot on the Mocs and didn’t let up. Early on Connecticut settled for the outside shot, ignoring the bigs down low, and while the shots clanked, Chattanooga began hitting buckets. It wasn’t until the Huskies started moving the basketball towards the basket that they started to pull away. The big men did a great job of handling the double and triple teams and dished the ball out. Thabeet, Adrien, and Edwards combined for only 3 turnovers. The man-to-man defense was aggressive and caused 19 turnovers, 12 steals, and frustrated the undersized Mocs. If there was a knock against the Huskies, it would be at the free throw line. They made 23 out of 39 from the stripe and in a tight ball game, it could send them home early. But in the end, UConn didn’t need the 16 points, because they dominated the boards and held Chattanooga to 25.8% shooting.

Robinson was amazing and his rejuvenated play could propel this team to Detroit. He was aggressive early with his offense and took a team high 17 shots. He was flying around the rim for rebounds, dunks, and blocks. He ended his night with a game high 24 points, 7 boards, 2 blocks, and a perfect 2 of 2 from the line.

Thabeet dominated the paint, snaring 13 boards, rejecting 2 shots, and converting from the floor. He was solid from the line, hitting 8 of 12. He also did a great job when the double team came. Adrien played with fire and recorded a double-double with 13 points and 16 boards. What was amazing about his night was his 4 assists to 1 turnover. His only mar was his horrible free throw shooting where he hit just 5 of 13.

Price had a good shooting night, but he is not holding onto the ball, having 3 assists to a team high 5 turnovers. He is settling for the three ball early in the shot clock and not funneling the ball into the paint. He ended his night with 20 points, 6 boards, 3 steals, and 1 of 2 from the line. Austrie is struggling with his shot, going 0 of 8 from the floor with 6 of those shots from three. He needs to keep shooting, but he has to find ways of getting into the lane more. Even though he was shooting blanks, he found ways to make plays, and had a game high 7 assists and 4 steals.

Walker was looking for his shot in this game and it was dropping, hitting 4 of 7 from the floor. He finished with 10 points, 6 dimes to 1 turnover, 3 boards, and went a perfect 2 of 2 from the line. Gavin did well in his 17 minutes and ended with 5 points, 4 boards, 1 dime to 1 turnover, 1 steal, 1 block, and went 1 of 2 from the line. Scottie Haralson shot the ball twice in his 6 minutes and missed both. He still had 2 boards, 2 dimes, and 1 steal.

There was a Mandeldove sighting and he pulled down a rebound in his 3 minutes. Beverly was 3 of 4 from the field, had 7 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, and 1 steal in just 8 minutes of play. Veronick and Linder each pulled down a rebound! Bird also got into the game but didn’t put up a stat.

With Calhoun watching the game from the hospital, UConn put on a dominating performance and let all the pundits know that they are still a team to reckon with. Now that they have that monkey off their back and have won their first tournament game, they should play more loose. It was good to see them smiling, having fun, and enjoying the experience. This team needed a good dose of confidence and this type of win will help instill that. But there is no rest for the weary. Celebrate tonight and get ready for Texas A&M tomorrow.

No comments: