UConn beat down on longtime rival Georgetown Tuesday night, trouncing the Hoyas 96-73. While Georgetown is certainly struggling this season, the Huskies’ convincing win marked one of their most complete performances of the season.
Here are some takeaways from UConn's blowout victory.
Sanogo continues his dominant streak
Ryan Goodman: Almost every single game Sanogo is standing out, and he seems to keep getting bettter. He’s been on a tear over the past five games, averaging 18.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks per game.
The Georgetown game was no different, as Sango virtually got anything he wanted, gobbling up offensive boards and rolling to the basket perfectly for easy deuces off of high ball screens. Sanogo even took the ball from Georgetown’s best player Dante Harris when Harris was trying to split two UConn defenders and took it coast-to-coast for a jam.
Sanogo has been a force on the defensive end as well, registering two blocks and altering a plethora of shots that led to many empty possessions for the Hoyas. Early foul trouble limited him to 23 minutes, but he still put up 19 points and 8 rebounds. Other Big East teams simply do not have anyone that can match his size, skill, and instincts. There is a short list of players nationwide that can compete with Sanogo on the low block and none of them reside in the Big East. Sanogo continues to show new aspects of his game nearly every single night it seems like, and I am already stoked to see it on display in March.
An incredible offensive performance
Dan Madigan: This game certainly passed the eye test as one of the best offensive performances in recent memory, but a quick dive into KenPom reveals some even more telling info. UConn posted an offensive rating of 145.9, which means the Huskies played roughly 46 percent better than the average offense Tuesday. That’s one of the team’s best offensive performances since 2002, when KenPom started, and the first time they’ve even been in that stratosphere since 2018.
UConn's 145.9 offensive efficiency rating is the worst allowed by Georgetown in the KenPom era (since 2002). It is... not particularly close.— Husky enthusiast (@NoEscalators) January 26, 2022
It is UConn's fifth best offensive performance in the same period. pic.twitter.com/0pYaoVJyKo
The classic box score stats back this up too — UConn shot 50% from the field, nearly 42% from three, and 78% from the line while pulling in 19 offensive rebounds. While it wasn’t against great competition, it was great to see the offense perform at their full potential. The team may not have been lights out defensively on Tuesday, but has shown it can be elite on that end multiple times this season. Tuesday was the first glimpse of how high the offensive ceiling can be, and it certainly bodes well for the Huskies’ postseason chances.
Goodman: This is what UConn’s offense looks like at its peak. Five players in double figures, each with at least 13 points. Jordan Hawkins being a microwave off the bench with dangerous sharpshooting, Akok and Polley connecting from deep and also sprinkling in some timely buckets. 96 points against a rival Big East foe is ridiculous, I don’t care that Georgetown has let up 80+ points in seven out of their last eight games, they just played Providence and Villanova pretty close. Dan Hurley even pulled most of the starters with about four to five minutes left. If UConn had gone full throttle for all 40 minutes, they would have broken 110.
We knew coming into this season that depth was going to be a strength of this team, but that was mostly due to their defensive potential and versatility. To see them explode like they did against Georgetown was quite a sight, and definitely lends credence to their ability to make a lot of noise in March.
Tyrese Martin is all the way back
Madigan: Tyrese Martin may not have scored 20-plus points again, but continued to look like his old self. He scored 13 points Tuesday and was once again ferocious on the boards, co-leading the team alongside Sanogo with eight. Even against a sizable Georgetown team, Martin was able to score in transition and from deep without relying on his usual post-game where he can terrorize smaller defenders. He may not have carried the Huskies like he did against Butler, but was still an incredibly important piece Tuesday night — in nearly 30 minutes of play, his plus/minus was +30. Plus/minus is far from a perfect stat, but in this one game, it does show how important Martin can be to this offense, especially in transition.
Goodman: The Huskies shot it at a pretty good clip, hitting 5-12 in the first half and ending the game 10-24 from deep, which equates to 41.7% (5.8% above their season average). However, it was Georgetown that absolutely lit it up from behind the arc in the first half, going 8-13 in the opening twenty minutes and finishing with 11 made threes on 21 attempts, an above 50% success rate. It’s not great to let a team that is 6-10 on the season and still searching for their first conference win to hang 40 points on you in the first half, especially in the hostile environment of Gampel Pavilion.
The only pass the team can get here is that Georgetown actually leads the Big East in three point percentag at 38.6% (UConn is second at 36.2% which is quietly very impressive), but they were still giving up far too many open threes and Georgetown took advantage for the most part. Dan Hurley was noticeably frustrated at the half with the Huskies' three-point defense and their overall effort as well. They had only committed three fouls up until the final few seconds of the first half, which is a sign that they were not playing their usual aggressive and disruptive defense.
Hurley must’ve hammered this home in the locker room because UConn came out maybe a little too aggressive in the second, committing five fouls in the first five minutes of game action. This seemed to work out in the long run, as UConn completely blitzed Georgetown for most of the final twenty minutes, holding them to just 3-8 from beyond the arc and ballooning the scoring margin to 32 at one point. If UConn had played a bit better three-point defense in the first, they would have definitely broken their record for biggest margin of victory against the Hoyas, which still stands at 24 points.