Much like the previous few games, the UConn men’s basketball team was unable to take charge in the first half, as they took on Rutgers. The difference Tuesday night? A dominant 20-2 run that allowed the Huskies to cruise the rest of the way in a 67-53 victory over the Scarlet Knights. Alex Oriakhi was the key player in this one, posting his second straight double-double despite only playing 27 minutes.
Aside from Oriakhi’s performance, balance was the story for the Huskies. Most of the team brought their “B” game, and that was plenty for Jim Calhoun’s squad.
A few notes on the game…
-Jamal Coombs-McDaniel continued his improvement, hitting a couple threes and finishing with 9 points. Since a nightmare showing at Pittsburgh, JCM has upped his intensity and is finding unique ways to score every game.
-Jeremy Lamb is still an enigma. While Lamb has shown flashes of potential this year, he has just played 15 minutes total in the last two games. Lamb is having trouble impacting the game when he is not scoring, unlike fellow freshman guard Shabazz Napier (7 assists Tuesday)
-It was nice to see Kemba relied on less to shoot, while at the same time playing his usual minutes. Sitting out their star player doesn’t help the team out as much as finding ways to score with him on the floor, in my opinion.
-A drama free finish was good to see. The only suspense late was whether Walker would finally not lead the team in scoring, but he sank two free throws before he was benched for his 18th points, edging Oriakhi. The total matched Kemba’s lowest of the season.
The Huskies managed to win without much of a sweat (other than an early 5-0 deficit), while still only playing their best ball for less than a quarter of the game. This will give Calhoun plenty to harp on this week in practice as they get ready for a visit to DePaul on Saturday.
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