The reeling UConn Huskies will take any win they can get right now, even it’ a close one over Division II Chaminade. It may not count for much but it the Huskies took a 93-82 win against the host school in the consolation round of the Maui Invitational.
With so much negativity swirling around the program following losses to Wagner, Northeastern, and Oklahoma State, UConn reminded its fanbase that there is talent on the floor, led by a near triple-double from sophomore Jalen Adams.
The Silverswords hung around for quite some time by hitting threes at an alarming rate. Chaminade was 14-of-32 from downtown, and its scoring was led by 20 from Rohndell Goodwin and 19 apiece for Sam Daly and Kiran Shastri. Chaminade shot 46 percent from the field and had the Huskies on the ropes for the entire first half—which ended with a tied score--and a good portion of the second half.
Senior center Amida Brimah helped UConn pull away in what was a one-point game with 13:43 to go. The senior center scored seven straight points, including two thunderous dunks, to extend the lead to 68-62. Then another senior, Rodney Purvis, took it over from there. He scored 14 of his 23 points in the final 6:53 to get UConn up by as many as 14 in the closing minutes.
Early on it looked like it was going to be another Bad Purv game. Purvis scored just three points at the half, going 1-of-5 from the field, including 0-of-3 from beyond the arch. But in the end, Purvis added six rebounds and five assists to his final stat line, looking like he may have turned the corner on his early-season slump.
Just like last night, Adams was too much to handle. Less than 24 hours after his 10-turnover, 34-point performance, he was back at it. The playmaking guard was unstoppable in the half court, breaking down Chaminade defenders on his way to easy buckets inside while also hitting a nice array of impressive pull-up jumpers. Adams finished 12-of-17 from the floor, dishing out 11 assists and hauling in nine rebounds. Most importantly: only one turnover.
There is obvious disappointment with the team’s overall performance thus far, but the last three halves for Adams have been ridiculously good. With Alterique Gilbert down and Terry Larrier out, the Huskies need a floor general and a scorer—Adams is doing both right now.
The Huskies dominated the box score, as they should against a Division II opponent, but concerns have to remain about their perimeter defense. Opposing teams have been lighting UConn up from the outside and opposing guards have been thriving with seemingly little adjustment to this point.
For the second straight game, Kevin Ollie showed a 3-2 zone look but didn’t stick with it even though it appeared to slow both the Cowboys’ and Silverswords’ marksmanship from the long range. There are still a lot of questions marks, and a lot of things which make watching this team difficult, and it’s doubly frustrating because of how evident the talent level is.
The win means the Huskies will get a crack at No. 13 Oregon in the fifth-place game tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.