Well that was close.
Uconn survived a late scare from Maryland in their season opener to hold on for the win 78-77. Things were off to a swimming start until about halfway through the second half when a technical foul on Shabazz Napier sparked an 11-0 Terrapins run and then things got dicey towards the end.
The Huskies looked like a dominant force after the end of the first half. We were up 12, 8 different Huskies had scored, we were moving the ball well, playing good defense and having some fun. Shabazz filled the stat sheet with 9/5/4 and Niels Giffey of all people was leading the team with 13 points on 5/6 shooting and 4 rebounds to boot.
The second half started with more of the same until Maryland started running the full court press and forced a few turnovers to cut the lead and then Napier’s technical spurred the run that obviously swung momentum their way. Napier later fouled out and the Huskies 17 point lead was whittled down to 2 with 2:28 left. Tyler Olander (Him?) immediately hit a 3 (swear?) to push that lead to five but shortly after Maryland came back to cut the lead down to one.
Terrance Samuel missed the front end of a one and one late to help Maryland’s cause and much to the chagrin of my underwear there we were up one with 30 seconds left. Then Boatright missed his first free throw on another one and one to give Maryland the ball but luckily their closely guarded attempt for the win rimmed out and the game was essentially over.
This was a tale of two games. The first part, the majority of the game, UConn was playing well, moving the ball, staying sharp defensively and then the end of the game we were turnover prone, taking bad shots and letting Maryland get easy buckets. At the end of the day there’s a lot to feel positive about and we can rest assured that over the coming weeks Ollie will address the issues that caused us to blow this lead.
This is a pretty good Maryland team that we just beat, considering it was the first game of the season I’m happy to come out with a W.
- · Interesting to see Phil Nolan get the start at Center
- · Kentan Facey’s zero minutes was perplexing
- · Calhoun, Daniels were generally unimpressive
- · Kromah, Brimah exceeded expectations
- · Giffey!