Actually I prefer Beagles, but I digress…
The UConn basketball team held off Loyola (Md.) 76-66 Tuesday night at the old mall. A few notes and quotes before I exit Hartford stage right:
— AFTER GETTING JUST 3 points and 0 rebounds in the first half, DeAndre Daniels had 18 points and 8 rebounds in the second half.
Apparently UConn coach Kevin Ollie had some harsh words for his junior forward at the half.
“I told DeAndre that he had to play with effort. That’s all I told him. I got right in his face and said ‘If you want to be good, if you want to be great, then you can’t play like that. I don’t care if you score another basket, you need to pick your energy level up,’ ” Ollie said. “That’s what he did and he played outstanding.”
— UCONN CONTINUES TO have a bit of a problem pulling away from teams. The Huskies went up 15 early, only to let the Greyhounds back in, then up 15 again but couldn’t pull away.
“We got up 15 points and we gave the lead up again. I want to get up 15 points then I want to get up 25. I don’t want to go back down to five, and that’s how we’ve been playing in some of these games,” Ollie said. “Great teams don’t do that. And that’s what we aspire to be.”
Why does UConn do this sometimes?
“If I knew it, I would change it,” Ryan Boatright said. “We have to nip that in the bud. That could come back to bite us.”
— ONE OF THE problems UConn had Tuesday was a familiar one: rebounding.
Loyola, which entered the game with some rather weak rebounding numbers ended up with a 40-39 edge on the glass. The Greyhounds had 20 offensive boards.
“We did a better job of rebounding the ball tonight. I was surprised we got 20 offensive rebounds,” Loyola coach G.G. Smith said. “We actually won the rebounding battle for the first time this year.”
— AS GOOD AS he was, Daniels did miss his first two free throws of the season Tuesday. He’s now 15-for-17 this year.
In other statistical news:
Shabazz Napier scored a season-low four points (thought he did have seven rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and three steals).
It was Napier’s lowest output since he scored two against Villanova Feb. 16.
Napier did move into 23rd place on UConn’s all-time scoring list, passing Al Weston. Napier has 1,344 points in his Husky career.
Phil Nolan tied his career high with eight points. Lasan Kromah had a UConn-best 12 points (his career high at GW was 25).