Facey's inside presence contributes to UConn's win
New York — UConn senior Kentan Facey spent the last few days battling a stomach virus.
But he refused to let that illness slow him down in Monday's 52-50 win over Syracuse at Madison Square Garden.
Facey shook off his illness and came off the bench to grab a career-high 13 rebounds and added seven points in a 52-50 victory that evened UConn's record at 4-4. The Huskies couldn't have won without the 6-foot-10 forward's contribution.
"The kid was pretty much throwing up at halftime," coach Kevin Ollie said. "He's been sick for the last three days with a stomach virus. ... To have 13 rebounds and play 29 minutes with a stomach virus just means the world. We would have had seven players if he sat out."
It was one of the best games of Facey's career. He also added two assists and a steal in 29 productive minutes.
"He was definitely huge for us," senior Rodney Purvis said. "He had 13 rebounds. If we can get that every day from him, then I think we'll be perfectly fine."
Facey came into the game averaging 3.3 points and 4.4 rebounds. He hauled down four offensive rebounds on Monday and helped the Huskies battle even on the boards (42-42).
"With all the stuff that happened with our team as far as injuries and stuff goes, we're going to need some extra possessions sometimes," Facey said. "If I can come in and contribute on that end, by all means, I'm going to give it 100 percent."
One more time
• UConn and Syracuse will play again next season at Madison Square Garden, meeting in the 2017 Jimmy V Men's Basketball Classic on Dec. 5.
The four-team field was officially announced on Monday. Villanova and Gonzaga also will face off. Game times will be released at a later date.
The event is part of Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research, which has raised $13.7 million in nine years.
"It's always an honor and a privilege for our program to be asked to participate in the Jimmy V Classic," Ollie said in a release. "Everyone knows someone whose life has been affected by cancer and we're proud to help in any way possible to find a cure for this dreaded disease."
The four participating programs have combined for 126 NCAA appearances, 16 Final Four trips and seven national championships.
UConn appeared in the Jimmy V Classic in 2012, losing to North Carolina State, 69-65, and dropped a 76-65 decision to Maryland in the 2015 event.
News and notes
• The Huskies received an important frontcourt contribution from freshman Juwan Durham, who had four points, two rebounds and a block in 15 minutes. ... They won for the first time trailing at halftime after losing the previous four. They were down 23-21 at the break. ... Syracuse sophomore Paschal Chukwu is from Westport and attended Fairfield Prep. He spent a year at Providence before transferring. He didn't play on Monday. ... Free throw shooting remains an issue for the Huskies, who entered the game converting just 62 percent from the line. They went 13 for 23 on Monday. Last season they shot 79.3 percent, leading the nation and setting a school record. ... After scoring 21 points against Syracuse, Purvis needs 55 points to reach 1,000 career points at UConn. He had 292 points during one season at North Carolina State before transferring. ... Up next: UConn visits Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus.
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