The Open Thread: No. 14/18 Louisville at UConn, UConn down 34-28 at the half

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Huskies follow the win at Memphis with another great performance?

UConn is losing right now 34-28 after the first half against the Louisville Cardinals. Montrezl Hardell has been destroying the Huskies, he's currently 7-8 from the field with 15 points and 6 boards already. UConn is being outrebounded 21 to 14. Shabazz Napier has been keeping the Huskies in the game with a gutsy 11 points and hasn't really gotten much from his teammates.

All things considered, 8 points is not an insurmountable lead and hopefully we can hit the boards a little harder in the second half and make some things happen. If DeAndre Daniels, hampered by foul troubles, could make some moves that would be great. UConn is currently shooting 36% from the floor, that needs to get better. The refs could stop f-ing us too, that would be great.

I'm sure Gampel is a little dejected right now, but after Niels Giffey's three I had to turn the volume on my TV down. If the Huskies come out strong in the second half and the crowd gets going we're still in this. Again, we're lucky to only be down 6 at this point. Three point shooting has kept them in this so far, let's hope some players can step up.

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Thursday night was awesome.

An up and down UConn Huskies team came into FedExForum on Thursday night with something to prove. There were a number of reasons to doubt them after a stretch where they couldn't even win without raising questions about consistency and the ability to beat quality teams.

If the Huskies play the way they did on Thursday, they can beat any team in the country. DeAndre Daniels had a career defining game last night, notching his first double-double of the season. Shabazz Napier was mostly a distributor but still managed 17 points despite a poor shooting night because he was able to get to the line and had 10 assists for yet another double-double. Lastly, Omar Calhoun finally showed up and all of a sudden this is looking like the team we always knew it could be.

The beauty of Thursday's win was the fact that Kevin Ollie's team earned a number of second chance points behind the strength of 13 offensive rebounds, winning the overall rebounding battle with Memphis 34-27. Holding Shaq Goodwin to a modest 10 and 2 helped as well. Most importantly, after winning the tougher of this two game stretch, I'm confident the Huskies can get the win in Gampel and use tonight's platform on ESPN to show the country that they are for real.

I can only imagine the buzz that must be surrounding Storrs right now. Spirits are high after Thursday now that Kevin Ollie seems to have his team firing on all cylinders. Even though the defending champs are rolling into town, they're still looking to prove themselves after failing to beat three of the quality opponents they've faced so far. This is why college basketball is so awesome- tonight we get to see two very talented teams battle for conference supremacy at a crucial juncture of the season. Once again, It's gonna feel like March in Gampel.

This should be a great one folks, and the Open Thread is here for you. Most of us are partaking in some form of festivities surrounding this game so I'm not sure how active we'll be on Twitter, etc. but we'll try out best. Come back for the first half recap to discuss the events with your fellow fan!

GO HUSKIES!!

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