Just about to leave the Prudential Center following UConn’s 75-63 loss to Seton Hall. A few notes before we do:
The game reminded me of Boston College’s win over UConn a few years ago (OK, a decade maybe) that snapped the Eagles’ long streak of futility against the Huskies. It had to happen eventually, right?
Well, I guess it did but I don’t think anyone thought it would be quite so lopsided. After UConn took that early 11-2 lead, it was all Seton Hall.
It became Seton Hall’s first win over UConn since 2001 (11 straight) and just its third since 1993 (25 of 27).
— It was game No. 3 for George Blaney filling in for Jim Calhoun.
He did his best to play the part, including picking up a T in the second half, perhaps in an effort to fire his team up. Still, he took some of the blame for the poor offensive showing.
“It was very stagnant and I couldn’t get them out of it,” Blaney said. “So I wasn’t happy with my performance, either.”
— Jeremy Lamb had 19 points and a relatively good game for UConn. The rest of the UConn starters combined for just 15 points, however, and collectively were 5-of-22 from the floor. Shabazz Napier was extremely off his game, missing 10 of his 12 shots and committing five turnovers.
“Defensively, we really wanted to shut down Napier,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. “When you watch them, he really is a catalyst. He’s a heck of a player.
“It’s tough to stop Lamb. He comes off so many screens, he’s got such great range,” Willard added. “You kind of have to pick your poison. I thought he (Napier) was a much more important person to stop because Lamb’s going to get his.”
— The whole Andre-Drummond-doesn’t-know-Herb-Pope thing wasn’t a huge deal, Willard said.
“That was one of the stupidest things I ever…why would he know?” Willard said. “He probably knew who number 15 was, he doesn’t know the name. That’s how we do it. You know ‘Stop number 2. Stop number 14.’ ”
Still, Pope took a little offense. He was solid with 15 points and 8 rebounds Tuesday.
Drummond, who was surprised by the mini-uproar, had just four points and five rebounds.
— Seton Hall was up by 21 points and appeared headed for its biggest (most lopsided) win over UConn ever. A late 9-0 run ruined that for the Hall.
That leaves Seton Hall’s biggest win ever as the very first meeting on Feb. 17, 1917. Seton Hall beat UConn, then known as the Connecticut Agricultural College, 34-19 that day.
— UConn’s 22 first-half points represented its lowest scoring half since a Jan. 17, 2011, game at Gampel Pavilion in which it trailed Villanova 22-21 at the break. The Huskies rallied for a 61-59 win that day.
— UConn turned the ball over 13 times in the first half.
“We went from passing the ball so great in the St. John’s game, passing it so great in the first four minutes, to being very stagnant for a good portion of the game,” Blaney said. “And then did not shoot the ball very well, either.”
— Was Seton Hall counting its chickens with a 13-point halftime lead?
“No, we were up 14 against them last year. I think we were up 14 with like six minutes to go and we lost that game,” Willard said. “Fuquan (Edwin), Patrick (Auda) and Herb kind of reminded everybody coming into the locker room at halftime that we had a 14-point lead last year.”
— Why was the UConn offense so poor?
“They extended the zone and forced us out really high,” Blaney said. “And when we threw the ball to the foul line or the high post a little bit, our bigs were really not ducking in the way we should be. So we didn’t get the ball to the rim and we wound up taking a lot of shots at the end of the clock.”
“I thought we got open shots, we just couldn’t get no calls,” Lamb said.