A classic but a Husky loss

Shabazz Napier, Niels Giffey, Market Starks

UConn’s Shabazz Napier and Niels Giffey try to tie up Georgetown’s Markel Starks late in Wednesday’s game. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill).

Another classic UConn-Georgetown affair is in the books.

Husky fans don’t like the ending to the 79-78 Hoya win Wednesday but it was a fun one to cover nonetheless.

“I thought I’d seen it all but I guess I hadn’t,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said.

Down 12 with four minutes to play UConn somehow forced overtime.

Then up seven with two minutes to play in the second OT, UConn somehow lost.

“That’s not a good win, that’s a great win for us,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said.

— YOU CAN ADD Omar Calhoun’s name to the list of UConn freshmen who don’t look like rookies.

His 3-poitner at the end of regulation capped UConn’s rally from 12-down with four minutes to play.

Despite a sore right wrist, his shot was true.

“I’m confident when I get the ball. That’s one thing I’ve always had, confidence,” Calhoun said. “I took the shot and I was confident in hitting it.”

As huge as Calhoun’s shot was:

“When Omar hit it I didn’t even know the score was tied, to be honest,” Ryan Boatright said. “I thought we were down four when he hit that three. I ran up to the baseline, if you watch the film, and I was getting ready to foul.”

— SOMEWHAT LOST in UConn’s comeback, falter and loss was the play of DeAndre Daniels. He had 25 points (one off his career high) and added 10 rebounds for the team’s first double-double this season.

“He was everywhere. He played like we know he can,” Ollie said. “He fought, he took the challenge of Otto Porter and he passed it.

“Now, for him, it’s not one game. Now it’s ‘Let’s do it the last three games. You come back next year and you do it again.’ That’s where we want to get him better, just being more consistent.”

Daniels admitted he was a little more fired up than usual for the game.

“Just hearing a lot of people saying I can’t play with Porter and all this other stuff,” Daniels said. “But this is a team game and I just came out and my teammates were finding me.”

— AFTER LANDING ON a Georgetown player’s foot following his layup to start the second half, UConn G Shabazz Napier re-injured the right foot he had (has?) the stress fracture in this summer.

He took off his sneakers and walked around for a bit on the sidelines and missed only three minutes of action.

He wasn’t 100 percent for the rest of the game but still managed to his some big shots.

“It was affecting me but I got in the game so…,” Napier said. “I was trying to tough it out.”

Napier was wearing a boot on the foot instead of a shoe after the game.

His plan for Cincinnati on Saturday?

“Just rest and a lot of treatment to figure out what’s happening,” Napier said.

— HE HAD CHANCES to win the game at the end of both overtimes but Ryan Boatright missed the mark twice.

“This was a very, very, very emotional game,” Boatright said. “These losses are the toughest because you fight so hard to win the game.”

As for his shot at the end of double-OT:

“I just tried to get it up court as fast as I can,” Boatright said. “When I made my first initial move, he kind of knocked me off line and I lost the ball. I had to remove myself and try to get to an open spot.

“I thought I had an open shot but I ran into Smith-Rivera,” Boatright continued. “Once I hit him I knew I only had like two seconds and I just went up with it. It actually felt good coming off my hands but it fell short.”

— THIS WAS GEORGETOWN’s first-ever win in Storrs. The Hoyas were 0-3 in Gampel Pavilion and 0-7 on the campus in total,

“Hartford, Storrs, Fairfield, wherever, this was a great game,” John Thompson III said.

— THE GAME WILL be remembered for Otto Porter’s game-winning shot, of course.

“He makes winning plays,” Thompson said of Porter.

“If I didn’t like what I saw I was going to call time out. I didn’t want to call time out to let them set up their defense,” Thompson said. “I thought if we got a stop, we might have them out-numbered and have an advantage in transition.”

As it turned out, Thompson was correct. Napier was caught behind the play and Georgetown essentially went 5-on-4.

— THOMPSON ON THE difference between a Jim Calhoun-coached UConn team and an Ollie-coached team.

“There are a lot of differences but at the core I think it’s the same,” Thompson said. “They’re not necessarily doing the same sets. Kevin has his own imprint on it. But at the same time they’re playing tough, they’re playing together, they’re working hard. Everything that has made Connecticut basketball successful down through the years is still there.”



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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