Sunday, February 24, 2013


With some of the title contenders taking losses on Saturday, it was imperative that UConn get a win against DePaul, but the scrappy Blue Demons weren’t going to be a push over.  They took it right to UConn, carving them up in the paint.  UConn didn’t do them any favors, turning the ball over for 17 times, which DePaul used to take control of the first half.  But they didn’t have enough fire power to match UConn’s hot shooting from deep.  The Huskies hit 11 of 22 from deep, which is amazing.  They have put three games in a row of incredible outside shooting performances and if they continue this they will solidify themselves as the best 3-point shooting team in recent UConn history.  It wasn’t just the 3-point shooting that created UConn’s run in the second half that ballooned the lead to 20 points, they did a fantastic job on the boards.  The backcourt made a determined effort to get on attack the glass, snagging 16 boards between Napier, Boatright, and Calhoun.  DePaul did make a run, like in the first game between the two, to an uncomfortable 10 points, but time was on their side and pulled out the much needed victory on the road.

Napier put on a shooting performance, hitting 5 of 7 from deep with 3 of those in the first and 2 in the second half.  He did struggle with ball handling and had a team high 6 turnovers, but his offense carried this team in the second half with a two jumpers, two 3-pointers, a goal tended lay-up, rebounding, knocking down free throws and good defense.  He’s a rhythm shooter and once he finds his groove, it is hard to stop him, because his range is so deep.

Boatright was playing in front of friends and family and he got off to a great start, hitting two 3-pointers, a floater, a lay-up, a runner, and a nice dish.  He wasn’t as loud in the second half only having a back door dunk and a floater, but he didn’t seem to be dribbling  himself into trouble like his previous two games, and bounced back in a big way.  Calhoun shook off the offensive rut he has been in with dealing with his injured wrist.  He had a quiet first half with a couple of steals, an offensive rebound, and a lay-up.  He did most of his damage in the second half with three lay-ups, two 3-pointers, a jumper, and stuck his nose in the paint for tough rebounds.

Unlike the first meeting this season, Daniels had a quiet game.  He had an early transition lay-up and a left handed lay-up and looked primed to have a solid game, but was quiet in the second half other than suffering a hard foul against him.  He did rebound well, but it wasn’t the normal performance UConn fans have been accustomed to from him.  Giffey has quietly put together several solid games in a row and did so again.  He had a line drive 3-pointer, a jumper, another 3-pointer, and an offensive rebound-lay-up.  He did have a 5 second violation but he was efficient and showed some prowess rebounding.  Evans had a quiet game with only a hustle save and a nice pass as his only contributions.

Olander had a good game with 5 rebounds and had his offense going early in the second half with a jumper and one, and a pull-up jumper.  Nolan got in early and had a few bad defensive possessions and had a lane infraction.  He did have a couple of nice blocks and rebounded the ball in traffic, but it was a struggle out there for him.  Tolksdorf tried to recreate that 3-point magic but it wasn’t there.  He at least didn’t shoot the ball in the closing seconds of the game when Ollie put up the stop sign.  Little victories.  Vandal, Watts, and Lammi all got some playing time with Lammi getting on the box score with a rebound.

This team is right there with a shot at their ultimate goal a reality.  They have a tough game against one of the best defensives in the country in Georgetown.  UConn will need to show a little outside shooting magic to pull of this win, but luckily it is a home game.  It will be a battle of two strengths  UConn’s offense versus Georgetown’s defense, but don’t be fooled.  UConn has can lock down an opponent and Georgetown can drop 90 points a team if they let their guard down.  It really is a shame that this team won’t have a post season because they have caught a bit of lightning in a bottle here.  They are all chipping in to overcompensate for their obvious flaws and it is certainly fun to watch and refreshing to see.

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