Post-game breakdown, video: Stony Brook
Coming off its first loss of the season, No. 21 UConn bounced back with a 73-62 victory on Sunday at Gampel Pavilion.
The win came over Stony Brook, which is coached by Steve Pikiell, a former Husky guard and ex-assistant.
Former Jim Calhoun assistants are now 0-17 against UConn.
Some news, notes and quotes from Sunday's win:
-- Coach Kevin Ollie talked about needing someone to step up with sparkplug R.J. Evans sidelined with a sternal-clavicular sprain.
Junior Niels Giffey answered the call, coming off the bench to contribute career highs in points (15) and rebounds (8). He came in averaging 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds.
"Niels Giffey was my MVP," Ollie said. "And he's been my MVP this whole year, not just playing time, but doing all the things that epitomizes UConn basketball: Doing his thing academically, coming in and playing great basketball in practice. And he got rewarded tonight."
-- UConn associate head coach Glen Miller said Evans is shooting to return for the North Carolina State on Dec. 4 in New York.
But that might be a bit optimistic, according to Miller. Evans has a better shot at returning for the game against Harvard on Dec. 7.
Of course, that's if Evans doesn't have any setbacks in his recovery. He had his right arm in a sling on Sunday.
-- UConn has been out-rebounded in all six games this season, losing the battle of the battle of the boards, 38-35, Sunday. Yet the Huskies are 5-1.
"We've got to start rebounding better," freshman Omar Calhoun said. "We can't be getting beat on the board because that's going to catch up to us."
Ollie had a sense of humor about it.
"We're getting closer in rebounding," Ollie said. "That's a positive."
-- Here's a strange statistic: Junior Shabazz Napier has scored 88 of his 100 points in the last five games in the second half.
Napier had just four points in the first half and 15 in the second for a game-high 18 points. He's led the team in scoring in every game.
Better late than never, according to Ollie.
"I don't know if he wants to get his teammates in the game, but we're just going to keep coaching him and keep trying to play the right way. I'm glad he picked it up in the second half once again and gave us a spark."
-- The difference on Sunday: 3-point shooting.
The Huskies made a season high 10 out of 22 attempts. They hit eight in 13 possessions to take control of the game in the second half.
"They packed it in, packed it in and dared us to shoot threes…," Ollie said. "And how we've been shooting threes they probably thought we were going to miss some. But we got hot."
UConn entered the game shooting 30 percent from beyond the arc.
-- Stony Brook left Long Island Sunday morning, took a ferry to Bridgeport and then headed by bus to Storrs. The Seawolves played Canisius on Saturday.
Pikiell would have liked more preparation time before facing UConn.
"We played a hard fought game yesterday…," Pikiell said. "Then to jump on the bus today and come up here wears on you a little bit."
-- UConn started slow, going 1-for-12 and 2-for-15 from the field.
The Huskies trailed 31-26 at halftime. They shot 32.3 percent (10-for-31) in the first half and 63.6 percent (14-for-22) in the second half. Eight of their 14 field goals came from 3-point range.
-- Freshman reserve Leon Tolksdorf (sprained left knee) sat out the game.
-- Up next: UConn hosts New Hampshire on Thursday night in Hartford.
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