With a late floater from Shaq Goodwin, Memphis put a damper on UConn's Senior Night Thursday.
Of course, the Huskies did nothing to help themselves, shooting 27.8 percent from the field. That was the Huskies' worst shooting percentage since 1997 and the fourth-worst since 1980.
More heartbreaking still is that the loss dropped UConn to 4-3 at Gampel Pavilion, the program's worst record ever in the 25-year-old arena. The three losses came by a combined three points and were lost in the final 8.1 seconds.
How did things go so wrong for UConn after a win over SMU Sunday? Our experts – Tim Fontenault, Elan-Paolo DeCarlo and Matt Gionfriddo – tried to figure it out.
Tim Fontenault: Last night was a fitting end to the Gampel Pavilion schedule. As it did against Yale and for stretches against Texas, UConn played poorly, but somehow had the lead in the final seconds. Then the other team gets a tough shot to fall to win the game. Gampel was not friendly to UConn this year, even though the atmosphere was incredible at every game.
But you can’t win shooting 27.8 percent. That is inexcusable, especially after that game against SMU. They took way too many contested shots. There were five players trying to run the offense individually. That cannot happen.
I did love Phil Nolan’s game, though. Great showing.
Elan-Paolo DeCarlo: Phil Nolan has shown signs of competence over the last couple weeks and has taken to that second big man role. He's long, active and tries hard, which is really all you need.
Fontenault: Godfrey and Goodwin were solid yesterday, but I was even more impressed with Kedren Johnson and Trashon Burrell. Man, they couldn’t miss. Johnson owns UConn. Burrell had a big following there from New York. Seemed like it fueled him.
Gionfriddo: Yup. Burrell played some unbelievable basketball in the second half and Johnson just does what he does against us apparently. He has not been that good all season but both times he goes against UConn, he plays up to his potential. Go figure.
DeCarlo: I hate hanging losses on one player but damn we needed Purvis. He really is a difference maker and when's he gets going, it's really hard to guard this team. This was a game they absolutely should have won.
Gionfriddo: Absolutely. Just give me more than three points, that's it. Three!
On the bright side, what happened to Syracuse is fun.