Post-game breakdown, video: Cincinnati

UConn remains a tough team to figure out.

The Huskies endured their share of bump stretches Wednesday, contributing to a tough 70-67 loss to Cincinnati.

Sean Kilpatrick's 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left provided the winning margin.

As you might expect, coach Jim Calhoun was disappointed.

"They certainly deserved to win the basketball game," Calhoun said. "They were mentally a tougher team and physically (tougher)."

Sophomore Shabazz Napier had a career-high 27 points for the 13th-ranked Huskies (14-4, 4-3). Kilpatrick had 16 points for the Bearcats (15-4, 5-1) who've won 10 of their last 11 games.

Some post-game news, notes and quotes:

-- Calhoun criticized the play of his frontcourt.

The Huskies had a size advantage up front. Freshman Andre Drummond was coming off of three straight double-double games. Junior Alex Oriakhi had played well lately.

Neither player excelled on Wednesday against a Cincinnati team that mainly plays with four guards.

Drummond had four points and six rebounds in 28 minutes and Oriakhi had two points and six rebounds in 26 minutes. They shot a combined 3-for-16 from the field.

"I thought we had a great advantage inside and that didn't work out very well," Calhoun said.

Drummond also had three turnovers and made bad decisions. He chose to pass the ball instead of shoot it on a couple of occasions.

The Huskies had just 10 second chance points. The Bearcats had 16.

Overall, UConn held a 41-32 rebounding edge.

-- Cincinnati came in leading the Big East in 3-pointers made per game in league play. The Bearcats topped their average of eight, sinking 11of 29 from bonus land. They made 10 in the first half.

"We didn't put enough pressure on them and let them take a lot of threes," sophomore Niels Giffey said. "Obviously, they made a lot of threes. I think that was the key."

-- Giffey was one of the few players that Calhoun praised after the game. He had 10 points, a career-high tying six rebounds and zero turnovers in 34 minutes.

"Niels gave us a pretty good effort," Calhoun said.

-- Napier scored UConn's last 10 points, sinking three 3-pointers and a free throw. His deep 3-pointer tied the game at 67-67 with 9.5 seconds left.

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin decided not to call a timeout.

"If you call timeout, you bring coach Calhoun into play…," Cronin said. "I probably would have called timeout if I didn't like who had the basketball."

Good move.

Kilpatrick found an opening and drilled the game-winner.

"It sucks because you fight back and you're supposed to win the game and someone comes down and makes a tough three," Napier said.

-- Despite his offensive numbers, Napier had an up and down game. He had five of UConn's 11 turnovers. He also gambled on defense.

"Napier wasn't great, but he was gutty," Calhoun said.

-- Sophomore Jeremy Lamb had 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting but failed to score after sinking three free throws with 6:52 remaining in the game.

-- Cincinnati led by as many as 12 in the first half and by 11 (48-37) with 16 and a half minutes remaining in the game before UConn roared back.

"When you get down 10, there's a reason for it, because we gambled," Calhoun said.

-- The Bearcats went just 2-for-6 from the foul line, allowing UConn to rally from a seven-point deficit to tie the game. Prior to that, the Bearcats had gone 5-for-5 from the line.

-- It was UConn's first home loss this season after winning 10 straight.

"It's always a tough one when you lose at home," Napier said.

-- More Calhoun: "I couldn't be more disappointed in some of the guys on our team."

-- Former UConn star Kemba Walker and his mother, Andrea Walker, attended the game. Andrea also was at South Bend on Saturday for the Notre Dame game.

"This is home for me," Andrea said. "I love it here."

Walker had a break in his NBA schedule. He recently moved into Charlotte's starting lineup.

-- UConn visits Tennessee Saturday afternoon for its final non-conference game.

-- Freshman Ryan Boatright sat out his second straight game while the NCAA reviews his eligibility for a second time this season.

"We miss him a lot," Napier said. "I don't think we would have lost if we had Ryan."

-- Reserve Enosch Wolf also watched from the bench in street clothes. He's late finishing with two finals after dealing with a concussion. He's expected to be available for Saturday's game.

Reader Comments


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