Week With The Jersey Devil

One week after playing perhaps their best game of the season (against St. John's), the Connecticut Huskies are now 0-2 for 2012. UConn's week in New Jersey was far from pleasant. A 75-63 loss to Seton Hall on Tuesday, followed by 67-60 defeat at Rutgers Saturday night, will likely knock the Huskies into the bottom half of both Top 25 polls.

But that's the least of UConn's problems right now.

Coach Jim Calhoun returned to the bench Saturday after serving his three-game NCAA suspension and he was determined to fix two glaring problems that he observed watching TV during the Seton Hall loss. One was UConn's 35 percent shooting. The other was Seton Hall's 10-for-20 shooting from three-point range.

There was little improvement in either area Saturday night. UConn shot 37.7 percent (20-for-53). Rutgers was 7-for-18 (38.8) from three-point range, which won't help UConn move out of last place in the Big East in that defensive category.

Now the Huskies face the daunting task of playing West Virginia (12-4, 3-1 Big East) on Monday night in Hartford. The Mountaineers, led by Truck Bryant and Kevin Jones, won at Rutgers 85-64 Wednesday and then upset Georgetown 74-62 Saturday in Morgantown.

There will be limited time to prepare for the Mountaineers. UConn bussed home from Piscataway after the game Saturday night and will hold a Sunday morning practice at Gampel Pavilion.

Some quick observations from the Rutgers game:

- The Huskies will be hard pressed to win any game when Jeremy Lamb fouls out out with eight points. Lamb was 7-for-14 from the field against Seton Hall. Against Rutgers he was 4-for-9. Lamb should be getting at least 15 shots a game. He's not creating enough off the dribble.

- UConn committed 14 turnovers against Seton Hall – 13 in the first half. The Huskies were even more careless against Rutgers, with 20 turnovers. Andre Drummond was credited with a mind-boggling seven turnovers.

- Alex Oriakhi's lack of production continues. Calhoun started him Saturday but he played only 15 minutes, scored six points and had three rebounds. Tyler Olander started in Oriakhi's place in the second half.

- The three spot has become a huge problem. Calhoun decided to start Niels Giffey against Rutgers. Giffey played 22 minutes, missed all four shots he took and was held scoreless. He had two rebounds and one assist. DeAndre Daniels played eight minutes and scored four points. Calhoun was in his face – and his chest – late in the game when Daniels had to burn a timeout when he couldn't inbound the ball. And Roscoe Smith? He didn't get in the game until the final minute.

- Shabazz Napier kept the Huskies in the game with his 23 points – even though it is painfully obvious that his sore left foot is really hurting. Napier went 9-for-10 from the free throw line.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

UCONN BASKETBALL VS. Rutgers

Rutgers Athletic Center - Piscataway, NJ

Rutgers 67 , Connecticut 60

Connecticut (60)

MP FG-FGA FT-FTA R A PF TP

GIFFEY, Niels 22 0-4 0-0 2 1 0 0

ORIAKHI, Alex 15 2-2 2-5 3 1 2 6

DRUMMOND, Andre 34 5-9 0-1 12 3 4 10

LAMB, Jeremy 24 4-9 0-0 1 1 5 8

NAPIER, Shabazz 38 5-14 9-10 5 3 3 23

DANIELS, DeAndre 8 1-3 2-2 3 0 3 4

OLANDER, Tyler 31 2-5 0-0 6 0 1 4

BOATRIGHT, Ryan 28 1-7 3-4 2 4 3 5

SMITH, Roscoe 0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Totals 200 20-53 16-22 34 13 21 60

Three-point goals: 4-19 (NAPIER 4-8, BOATRIGHT 0-2, DANIELS 0-2, DRUMMOND 0-1, GIFFEY 0-2, LAMB 0-4)

FG Pct.: .377 ; FT Pct.: .727

Team Rebounds: 4

Turnovers: 20 (DRUMMOND 7, NAPIER 4, BOATRIGHT 3, GIFFEY 2, LAMB 2, DANIELS 1, OLANDER 1)

Blocks: 5 (DRUMMOND 2, DANIELS 1, LAMB 1, OLANDER 1)

Steals : 4 (BOATRIGHT 1, DRUMMOND 1, GIFFEY 1, LAMB 1)

Fouled Out: 1 (LAMB)

Rutgers (67)

MP FG-FGA FT-FTA R A PF TP

RANDALL, Derrick 25 0-1 3-4 5 0 2 3

BIRUTA, Gilvydas 33 3-8 1-2 3 2 2 7

SEAGEARS, Jerome 22 1-4 3-4 3 4 3 5

CARTER, Eli 27 6-13 4-4 3 1 5 19

MILLER, Dane 31 2-3 4-5 5 1 4 8

MACK, Myles 25 3-8 5-6 2 3 0 14

POOLE, Mike 22 3-8 2-2 4 0 1 9

JOHNSON, Austin 14 1-3 0-0 0 0 3 2

KONE, Malick 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Totals 200 19-48 22-27 25 11 20 67

Three-point goals: 7-18 (CARTER 3-8, MACK 3-7, POOLE 1-1, BIRUTA 0-1, SEAGEARS 0-1)

FG Pct.: .396 ; FT Pct.: .815

Team Rebounds: 3

Turnovers: 14 (RANDALL 3, SEAGEARS 3, CARTER 2, MACK 2, BIRUTA 1, JOHNSON 1, MILLER 1, POOLE 1)

Blocks: 1 (MILLER 1)

Steals : 9 (BIRUTA 3, POOLE 3, MACK 2, CARTER 1)

Fouled Out: 1 (CARTER)

Connecticut (12-3, 2-2) 30 30 -- 60

Rutgers (9-7, 1-2) 28 39 -- 67

Officials: Bob Donato, Earl Walton, Clarence Armstrong

Technical Fouls: NONE

Attendance: 7011


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