Well, for the second year in a row, the UConn Huskies went down to Houston, Texas and lost. A year ago, they came back to win the NCAA Tournament and came away with their fourth national championship. That does not look to be the case this season.
This loss drops the Huskies to 11-9 on the season, 4-4 in conference play. As this up and down season has unfolded, it's becoming more and more likely that UConn has to win the conference tournament in order to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Today's loss was a perfect microcosm of this season. Houston got off to a hot start. Jherrod Stiggers paced the Cougars with his three point shooting. He finished 3-12 from distance and ended the game with 18 points. Houston was trigger happy from beyond the three point line, finishing with 34 attempts. All season long, UConn has struggled to defend opponents on the perimeter. Today, Houston exploited that weakness.
UConn was led today by Ryan Boatright. He finished with a career 31 points, but it was not enough. Boat struggled to start, but found his rhythm as the game went along. He finished 10-26 from the field, including 5-11 from distance. But he was the only Husky that got hot. He simply did not get enough support tonight.
This has been a strange season. At times, UConn has looked like a strong, competitive team. But then there are days like today, when the Huskies barely look like a coherent team. This team has their backs against the wall. Against Cincy and today against Houston, they failed to do their jobs. As this season reaches crunch time, Kevin Ollie's squad needs to rally. The conference tournament is in Hartford, home turf, so they have as good a chance as any to win it. But the pressure is on. The likelihood of missing the tournament is exceedingly possible. The time is now to step up.