Player of the Game- Yale big man Justin Seares was the most dominant player on the floor. Seares finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds, 8 of them offensive. To put that in perspective, UConn as a team only grabbed 1 offensive rebound and 25 total. Seares was active throughout, keeping possessions alive for the Bulldogs and providing a toughness that the UConn big men could not match. He outworked Amida Brimah, Phil Nolan and Kentan Facey to an alarming degree and it was the difference in the game.
Turning Point of the Game- Leading 44-42 with 11 seconds to play, Ryan Boatright was intentionally fouled and put on the free throw line for a one-and-one. I smiled, nodded and expected Boat to knock down both to help UConn escape with a win. Surely, he wouldn't miss like he did against Texas. Wrong. That's exactly what he did. Boat missed the front end, Yale came up with the rebound, called timeout and drew up a play. History was repeating itself.
Play of the Game- For the second time in a week, the Huskies gave up a wide open corner three in the last seconds of the game. Yale's Jack Montague was 0-6 on the night before he knocked down the game winner. 0-6. Post game, both Montague and Yale coach James Jones said the first option on the play was a lob to Seares, but UConn took that away. Montague was the next option. Defensively, Boatright called for a switch with Sam Cassell Jr. Cassell Jr slid towards the basket, misreading the play and was too late closing out on Montague.
Concern- Where to begin? Rebounding was key. UConn was out rebounded by 11, including a 13-1 margin in the OR column. Facey, Brimah and Nolan combined for just 8 rebounds. That's unacceptable from the front court. Post game, coach Kevin Ollie made constant mentions of his team's lack of rebounding prowess and questioned their toughness. Going off that, this team isn't a happy bunch. They came out Friday night with no energy and allowed Yale to control the pace and tempo of the game. Yale was more physical and played with more urgency, which is why they came away with a win. Amida Brimah made mention that the chemistry was off for UConn this season and didn't offer any easy solutions to that. Losing is tough for any team, and as Ollie said, "we're at the bottom right now." UConn is on a three game losing streak. With Coppin State coming up, that should offer an easy win. But with the way the Huskies played Friday, there are no easy wins.