Huskies roll over DePaul in round one

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UConn coach Jim Calhoun speaks to the media following Tuesday's win over DePaul at Madison Square Garden. (Neill Ostrout photo)

The UConn basketball team polished off DePaul again in the opening round of the Big East tournament, sort of like it did last season.

The Huskies won 81-67, making 53.4 percent of their shots and hitting an unlikely eight 3-pointers.

— That’s an actual winning streak for UConn, in case you missed it. Two games in a row.

The Huskies hadn’t won two in a row since Jan. 9 and 14.

— Calhoun was pretty emotional after the game when talking to the media.

“It’s been a different kind of season,” Calhoun said. “Through it all, somewhat by separation, I realize how much I care about these kids.”

“This is my job,” Calhoun added. “It’s also my love.”

Calhoun even made a point to thank “almost everybody in the media for the way you’ve treated us” in covering the story of his back surgery.

— Of course, Calhoun also had some fun, too, during his chat with the media.

He talked about having to walk with a cane when his was at its worst a few weeks ago and how that would be impossible during games.

“I couldn’t walk with a cane on the sidelines, because two of the officials might get hit,” Calhoun said.

— UConn has won 12 straight postseason games

— Calhoun won his 34th Big East tourney game, passing John Thompson and moving into second place on the league’s all time list behind only Jim Boeheim (46).

— UConn has won six straight games in the Big East tournament, the fourth-longest streak in league history. UConn holds that record already, winning nine straight from 1998-2000.

— This was only UConn’s fourth time scoring in the 80’s all season. One of the other ones came against DePaul, too.

Jeremy Lamb scored 25 points and passed the 1,000-point mark in his career.

He’s the 46th player in UConn history to reach that number, but just the sixth to get there as a sophomore.

Caron Butler, Ben Gordon, Ray Allen, Khalid El-Amin and Richard Hamilton also did it as sophomores.

It took Wes Bialosuknia only two seasons as well, though he did it as a sophomore and junior as freshmen weren’t allowed to play in his day.

— PF/C Alex Oriakhi picked up a technical foul in the first half, taking a swipe at DePaul guard Worrel Clahar after being fouled.

“I just got hit in my mouth and I reacted,” Oriakhi said. “It was a reaction. When anybody gets hit in the face, you just react. It was a dumb mistake on my part and I have to learn from it.

“I did learn from it in the second half,” Oriakhi added. “I got hit again and I just kept calm.”

Andre Drummond missed all six of his free throws Tuesday, with many of them not even close. He’s now made only four of his last 26 attempts from the line.

Neill

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About Neill

Neill Ostrout covers the UConn men's basketball team for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. He has been a member of the "Horde" for more than 16 years.
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