Hartford, CT-- Entering this season, the University of Connecticut was the top dog in the state. Over the last 28 years, UConn had won 68 consecutive games against in-state opponents. Of course, that streak was snapped by Yale on December 5th. Today, UConn reestablished themselves at the top, blowing out Central Connecticut State, 81-48.
It was a dominating effort across the board for UConn. Five different players scored in double figures, including a game high 18 from Ryan Boatright. The Huskies shot 53% from the field, a result of excellent ball movement resulting in 17 assists.
"The ball was moving again today," coach Kevin Ollie said. "There was a confidence and consistency in what we tried to do today."
The Huskies were led by a strong performance from their backcourt. Boatright, as per usual, was the hub, but again, he was supported. Rodney Purvis built off his game against Columbia, adding 14 points today. It was his second straight game scoring in double figures.
"It's all been about getting confidence for Rodney," Boatright said. "Anytime we can go out there and knock down shots, it helps. I don't always need to score, I need to get my assists, too. So when other guys score, it helps."
This was a big time showing for the Huskies. With conference play starting on New Year's Eve, to finish out the opening portion of the schedule on a high note was big. Now, with momentum, they look to run the table in the American Athletic Conference.
UConn was anchored this afternoon by a big time effort from their defense. The game's opening 10 minutes looked to forecast a close contest. The first half ended with UConn leading 23-20. It was then when UConn put the lock down on CCSU. From the 10:04 mark in the first half to the 14:00 mark in the second, CCSU had just one field goal. UConn opted to use a 3/4 court press, with Boatright, or Terrence Samuel when he was in, pressing the ball handler up the floor. That strategy completely took away CCSU's top scorer, Matt Mobley. He came into the game averaging over 18 ppg. He scored just 9 against UConn.
One of the keys for the game was UConn's ability to rebound the basketball. They out rebounded the Blue Devils 42-28. Kentan Facey had his first career double-double, chipping in 12 points and 12 boards. UConn's rebounding prowess led to 8 second chance points.
At the end of the day, UConn improves to 6-4. This was a much needed laugher against a team that simply had no answers. Conference play starts this week. Florida and Stanford are on the horizon. It finally looks like the Huskies are clicking. It could not come at a better time.