The atmosphere at Fifth Third Arena in front of 11,000+ fans was electric! UConn never led at any point during the game. As discussed in postgame interviews, Gary Clark and Troy Caupain both took the first loss in Hartford very personal, and they both had statement games this time around at home. In a must win AAC game, UC dominated.
Troy Caupain was the BSR Game MVP. Troy was on fire last night before his ejection, going 8-9 from the field for a career-high 20 points, 4 boards, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. He craved having a better game than his counterpart #11 Ryan Boatright and he did it with a rarely-donned and possibly-magical headband.
Gary Clark had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He led the team with 10 boards, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 4 steals. Kevin Johnson and Jermaine Sanders also continue to contribute valuable points. When Octavius Ellis was in foul trouble, Coreontae DeBerry also played huge.
Defensively, the Cats played great. While giving up an unusual 58 points, they held UConn to 22 points in the first half, and kept Boatright in check – a difficult task for any team. UConn shot the ball 32.8% for the game and 30.8% from 3. The Bearcats were out-rebounded 33-32, but forced 9 steals and 8 blocked shots.
While the Cats had 15 turnovers, the same number as they had at UConn, UC did not allow dribble penetration or any fast break, give-me points. The Cats scored 32 points in the paint to the Huskies’ 20. The Cats also got to the free throw line 28 times, and made 19 of the freebees. The Bearcats also continue to put up monster points in the 2nd half – tonight 40.
UC is now the sole owner of 3rd place in the conference behind Tulsa and SMU. The Cats already beat SMU and have yet to face Tulsa. This game certainly sets up an interesting rubber match in Hartford, Connecticut at the AAC tournament in March!
Next up – At East Carolina on Sunday at 1 pm ET on CBS Sports Network.
By Andy Smith
PS – Be sure to follow check out developments on the headband’s Twitter account – @troysheadband.
Oh and Boatright’s mom stopped by to say hi.