Terrence Williams, with 17 points, led the Louisville Cardinals past the UCONN Huskies 76-69 at the Hartford Civic Center on Sunday afternoon. Derrick Caracter added 16 points and Earl Clark chipped in 11 points. UCONN had four players in double figures led once again by Jerome Dyson, who had 23 points. Jeff Adrien added 16 points, AJ Price had 11 points and Craig Austrie finished with 10 points.

The two teams traded baskets for most of the first half as neither team could pull away. However an 8-1 run by the Cardinals put them up by 9 points. The teams again exchanged baskets as the Cardinals took a 9 point lead into the locker room.

The second half was much of the same early on as UCONN could pull no closer than 7 points. UCONN kept fighting hard and eventually tied the game up at 58 on a Dyson 3 pointer. The Cardinals again took the lead by 2 but an Adrien basket tied it up at 60. Louisville then went on an 8-3 run and UCONN could not get any closer.

Notes and Observations:

  • The starters were Price, Dyson, Robinson, Thabeet and Adrien.
  • The crowd was announced as a sellout of 16,294. That must have been tickets sold because I can tell you that there were definitely a lot of empty seats, especially in the student section. It really seems like the students just don’t care that the team is playing in Hartford. Yes I know it is a 45 minute drive to Storrs but I really think the loudness of a full student section would have definitely helped the Huskies.
  • This was my first loss in person this season. I am 4-1 on the season, not counting exhibition games. However as usual, I am paying for going with my bad back. Two and half years after the car accident and still feeling take your breath away pain.
  • Robinson has really disappeared in the UCONN offense. He has such great offensive ability but isn’t showing it at all.
  • I am not sure if Marcus Johnson’s ankle is bothering him but as my mom pointed out at the game, he didn’t come in the game until late in the second half for defensive purposes as they got close.
  • Thabeet got dominated down in the paint by Caracter. If you were going to write a book about how to get around the big fella, Caracter would definitely have some good information for you. That being said, Thabeet did pull down a team high 7 rebounds and blocked 5 shots.
  • UCONN was 13 of 21 (61.9%) from the foul line but they just couldn’t hit the free throws when they were needed. Take a look at this quote from Coach Jim Calhoun to back my point up.

We continue not to make foul shots throughout the whole game, so as supposed to maybe coming down with an edge you come down with a little deficit.

  • Jonathan Mandeldove played a whole one minute in the game. The reason is he didn’t hustle back on defense and his man scored a layup. Man was Calhoun pissed. He met him on the way to the bench and just told him to get his ass to the bench.

I saw the headline on the UCONN article in the Hartford Courant on Sunday. It said something about UCONN’s NCAA hopes rest on this game. Well whomever wrote it, UCONN’s NCAA hopes were gone a long time ago. The only way this team is making the NCAA’s is to run the table in the Big East. That means winning 4 games in 4 days.

With the loss, UCONN falls to 17-11 (6-8 in the Big East). Next up for the Huskies is their home finale against the Villanova Wildcats at Gampel Pavilion. Gametime is at 7 PM and you can catch it nationally on ESPN.