Wins can come all different ways. They can be pretty, close, a blowout, ugly, good, etc. I think we can classify today’s win for the No.1 UConn Huskies as UGLY.
It wasn’t pretty at all this afternoon at the XL Center but the Huskies got the job done with a 64-50 win over the South Florida Bulls.
The win improves UConn’s record to 25-2 (13-2 Big East) while the Bulls drop to 8-18 (3-11). It was also the 799th win of Jim Calhoun’s career and his 551st at UConn.
Hasheem Thabeet led the way for the Huskies this afternoon with 21 points and added 9 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. A.J. Price added 11 points and Stanley Robinson had 10. Jeff Adrien just missed a double-double as he finished with 9 points and 15 rebounds.
The Bulls were led by Augustus Gilchrist’s 15 points. Dominique Jones added 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists while Chris Howard chipped in with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.
It was slow going early on. UConn jumped out to an early 9-0 lead as the Bulls couldn’t buy a basket to save their lives. Then the Huskies went cold and South Florida cut UConn’s lead to 9-6 despite hitting just two of their first 15 shots. With 7:17 to go in the first half, a Robinson jumper gave the Huskies a 9 point lead at 19-10.
South Florida cut the lead to 5 at 19-14 but UConn responded as they got their lead to 12 points at 26-14 on a Thabeet layup. The Bulls got the lead down to 9 but a sweet crossover from Kemba Walker got him to basket to put the Huskies up 31-20 at the break.
The Bulls battled in the second half to cut UConn’s lead to 6 points but the Huskies used a 14-4 run to make sure they didn’t get any closer.
One thing’s for sure, Calhoun won’t be happy with the way his team played today. Maybe it was the early start time, but they really seem uninspired the whole game. They looked sloppy at times, out-of-sync at times and never really got in the flow early on. This was a game where the Huskies played to their opponent’s level and not at one of the top team in the nation.
Another tough matchup for the Huskies awaits on Wednesday night when they head to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI to take on the No. 11 Marquette Golden Eagles. Tip is scheduled for 7 PM and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Notes and musings:
South Florida Bulls @ UConn Huskies 2.21.08 men’s basketball box score
The starters were A.J. Price, Craig Austrie, Stanley Robinson, Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet.
UConn is now 7-0 against South Florida all-time.
Jeff Adrien moved into 14th on the all-time UConn scoring list and needs 16 points to reach 1,500 points.
UConn shot 41.3% (26-0f-63) while South Florida shot 32.3% (21-of-63).
The Huskies had 11 assists on their 25 made baskets.
UConn made 11-of-18 (61.1%) from the free throw line.
The Huskies won the battle of the boards 44-40 and outscored the Bulls 38-26 in the paint.
UConn took good care of the ball, committing just 6 turnovers while forcing 11 Bulls turnovers.