Men’s Basketball: Free throws kill UConn against Temple

Losing Ryan Boatright with 19:36 to play in the second half did not do anything to help UConn’s chances Wednesday against Temple, but it was fundamentals that killed the Huskies.

The Huskies shot 8 of 19 from the foul line and were 1-for-9 from behind the 3-point line, putting to waste an outstanding comeback in a 57-53 overtime loss to the Owls in their American Athletic Conference opener.

A corner 3-pointer from Temple’s Jesse Morgan put the Owls (10-4, 1-0 American) up six with 1:51 and looked to have put the game out of reach. The Huskies (6-5, 0-1 American) were able to fight back, preventing Temple from scoring again. Terrence Samuel grabbed a rebound off a missed three by Daniel Dingle with 16 seconds left and threw the ball ahead to Rodney Purvis, who threw it down to tie the game at 51.

Two free throws gave Temple a 55-53 lead with 2:48 to play in overtime. With 2.8 seconds left and the score unchanged, Daniel Hamilton had one option: throw the ball up from behind the 3-point line and hope to get fouled.

He got fouled, and the freshman, who finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, missed the first two shots before committing a violation trying to force a rebound on the third.

Will Cummings hit two foul shots at the other end to seal it.

“It’s tough on a freshman to be in that position, but (Hamilton will) live to see another day,” Purvis said. “We just have to get better as a team. Teams stay with each other. He’s kind of down on himself because he’s a really passionate kid who loves the game a lot. We just have to keep his head up.”

Boatright left the game with 1:31 to play in the first half after being struck by a knee in the back of the leg. Despite an obvious limp, the Huskies’ leading scorer and the American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year tried to fight through it in the second half. He lasted 24 seconds.

Without Boatright, the lone senior in the regular rotation, Terrence Samuel ran point on offense. It took some time, but a lineup of freshmen and sophomores were able to adjust and take the fight back to one of the best defensive teams in the conference. The Huskies shot 42.3 percent from the field in the second half to get back in the game.

“We had some other guys try to step up and fill in the void for him,” head coach Kevin Ollie said. “Of course, you can’t do that, but I thought the guys really played with some effort…We just have to come down on offense and execute a little bit. We’ve got younger guys out there.”

For the second straight game, UConn got a positive performance out of junior Omar Calhoun, who has been battling injuries for the second straight season. Calhoun finished with seven points, three rebounds and two assists and hit the Huskies’ lone 3-pointer.

Calhoun converted a critical bucket for UConn – a tip-in to cut Temple’s lead to four – with 4:56 left, but was rewarded with a cut above the left eye for his trouble. He came back in with less than a minute left, but he had trouble seeing and only lasted nine seconds.

Purvis made a couple of key shots and big defensive plays, but he finished with only seven points and one rebound. The rebound stat irritated Purvis, who said that he needs to be better, not just as a player, but as a leader.

“We have to find one more guy to take that leadership role,” Purvis said. “I feel like I can be that guy. I just have to step up. Like I said, (Ollie) played me 38 minutes and I only grabbed one rebound. That’s on me. We just have to give things back to Coach. He gives us his all and we got to go back and have his back and give it all up to him on the court.”

UConn renews Herbst’s contract, raising salary to nearly $758,000 and extending her role until 2019

The UConn Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to approve a new contract for President Susan Herbst, which will run though the summer of 2019 and grant her a pay increase leading to a salary of $758,000 by 2015.

“The contract was based on the board’s review of her performance as president. The desire of the board for her to continue as president and her desire to remain at UConn,” UConn Deputy Spokesman Tom Breen said.

Along with a five percent increase in her annual salary, Herbst will also receive a $40,000 annual performance award as of June 30, a $125,000 retention incentive upon completion of five years of service on May 30, 2016 and an additional retention incentive of $75,000 upon completion of service as President for the full term of the newest agreement in 2019. Herbst was also afforded with $38,000 annually toward a supplemental retirement plan and retained her housing on campus.

The UConn Foundation is funding the increase using its investment income. None of the increase will be funded by tuition or student fees.

“The Foundation annually funded $145,000 of her original contract – in light of the central role [the] president play[s] in raising private funds for the University,” Breen said. “The Foundation decided to increase that contribution to $300,000 annually, at the request of the Board of Trustees. This means that $300,000 of the total value of her contract each year is funded with private dollars.”

Infographic by Kathleen McWilliams, Managing Editor. Information taken from OIR at respective schools.

 

Her pay in the new contract is in line with the pay of presidents at many other large public universities similar to UConn, Breen said. Sally Mason, President of the University of Iowa, which the UConn Office of Institutional Research lists as a peer institution, receives a salary of $500,000 according to the Iowa Press Citizen. At Ohio State, another peer institution, President E. Gordron Gee makes $851,303, and Robert Barchi of Rutgers University makes $650,000 yearly.

 

“President Herbst is a bold, decisive, and innovative president whose most important priority has been and continues to be building the academic quality of the university on behalf of our students as the state of Connecticut,” said UConn Board Chairman Lawrence D. McHugh.

President Herbst spoke out, thanking the board for the raise and the vote of confidence.

 

“I’m so grateful to the board for their support and confidence,” said President Susan Herbst. “It’s an honor to be the president of the University of Connecticut and I look forward to continuing to work closely with our board, the state’s leaders, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters to ensure that UConn is the great university that Connecticut deserves.”

UConn in 2014: Take This Quiz to Find Our How Much You Remember About Being a Husky in 2014

 

11.20.14Husky4ADayByAmarBatra
Prospective and current UConn students pose by the iconic Jonathan statue. Photo: Amar Batra, Grab Photographer

2014 had its ups and downs for the Huskies. How much do you remember about 2014? Take our quiz here and don’t forget to share with fellow Huskies.

https://www.examtime.com/en-US/p/1826188-Untitled-quizzes?frame=trueQuiz created by Katie McWilliams with ExamTime

Women’s Basketball: Total team effort takes down No. 10 Duke

A balanced scoring-diet was the key to success for no. 2 UConn (10-1) in their 83-52 victory over no. 10 Duke (8-4).

The Huskies had 5 players reach double digits in scoring on their way to their 8th straight victory over Duke.

UConn junior forward Moriah Jefferson continued her hot streak as she led all scorers with 18 points. Following a career high 24-point performance against SMU, UConn coach Geno Auriemma is seeing her confidence continue to grow as her shooting improves.

“The number one thing that helps Moriah’s confidence level is when she is making threes,” Auriemma said. “I think because she wasn’t making any [earlier in the season], her confidence level was down.”

Junior forward Breanna Stewart scored 14 points and now sits in 22nd on UConn’s all-time scoring list. Stewart also recorded her 200th career block during the night. Stewart was glad to share the scoring load with her teammates.

“I think it’s self explanatory that it is not just me,” Stewart said. “I have some great teammates and they have obviously stepped up and shown that and proven they are just as deserving.”

Azura Stevens was Duke’s leading scorer with 16 points on 6 of 14 shooting from the field.

The game started off sloppy for the Huskies. UConn turned the ball over 4 times in the first 4 minutes of the game. However, Duke was unable to take full advantage of the Huskies mistakes as they started the game off 2 for 8 from the field. Duke held a 6-5 at the first media timeout.

After the timeout UConn was able to take the momentum. UConn went on a 14-2 run over the span of 3:19 where they forced Duke into 5 turnovers of their own. Jefferson credited the full court press as the catalyst of the run.

“I think we did a good job of pressuring and I think the press really got us into transition,” Jefferson said. “The big guys had their hands up in the front and we happened to get some steals and get out in transition and get some layups.”

Duke would not go away easily. Duke went on an 8-0 run of their own and tied the game at 22 with a 3-pointer from Ka’lia Johnson with 8 minutes left to play in the half.

UConn regained the lead for good when sophomore Saniya Chong made a steal that led to a breakaway layup to put the Huskies up 25-24 with 4:37 to go in the half. The Huskies ended the half on a 10-2 run and carried a 33-26 lead into the locker room.

Junior guard Moriah Jefferson got off to a hot start in the second half for UConn. After being held to just 2 points in the first half, Jefferson drained her first three shot attempts from three-point range on her way to 16-second half points.

Duke head coach Joanne McCallie questioned her team’s effort, especially in the second half, of what she called “a pathetic display” from her team.

Facing a Duke team ranked no. 1 in the nation in rebounding margin (21.4), effort was the focal point for UConn during the game.

“Effort is the most important thing,” Jefferson said. “I think if you give 110% effort and then if you lose you go down knowing that you gave everything that you had. A lot of times playing that hard you just won’t lose.”

The Huskies’ effort paid off as they outrebounded Duke 38-32 on the night. This was the first time Duke was outrebounded this season. Duke was also held to a season low in points with 52.

Notebook: Moriah Jefferson starting to break out of slump

Moriah Jefferson had been struggling, but over the past two games she has played with much more energy and confidence.

Prior to Saturday’s game against SMU, Jefferson had been in a slump where she only scored 11 points in a three-game span.

“I’ve been playing bad,” Jefferson said after beating SMU Saturday.

After the game against SMU Jefferson said she didn’t play any basketball when she went home for Christmas break. She used the time to relax and see her family, and it has been paying dividends for the junior guard.

Since coming back from Christmas break, head coach Geno Auriemma said that Jefferson has been a completely different player in practice. Her play in practice has translated over to the past two games. She is starting to knock down her shots, using her quickness to her advantage and she’s playing stifling defense.

For the second game in a row, Jefferson led UConn (10-1) in scoring Monday night with 18 points as the Huskies defeated the No. 10 Duke Blue Devils (8-4), 83-52. Jefferson scored a career-high 24 points against SMU on Saturday.

“I think I’m coming out of it,” Jefferson said about her recent slump. “I think I just have to keep playing the way that I am now and keep looking forward and don’t look back.”

Auriemma said that the team needs Jefferson to be an offensive player for the Huskies to succeed.

“We need her to look for her offense instead of looking for somebody to pass the ball to,” Auriemma said.

Jefferson also has 10 steals in the past two games, leading her to score many of her points off of layups.

“It all starts on the defensive end for her and she’s played great defense the last couple days,” Auriemma said. “It all flows.”

When Jefferson plays at the level she has been playing at over the past two games, she makes the offense flow better. She is able to create more scoring chances when she is getting steals, and when she is making her shots, it creates more space for her teammates because the defenders have to guard her closer.

“It’s so helpful,” Breanna Stewart said about Jefferson’s recent play. “I think the fact that she is being aggressive all the time on the court, you know not just thinking pass, that kind of thing, and thinking score, shoot the ball. I tell her all the time ‘shoot the ball’. She did that and now teams are going to have to respect her.”

Jefferson shot 6 of 8 from the floor Monday. She only scored three points in the first half, but her 15 points, including two early 3-pointers in the second half, led the Huskies to pull away from the Blue Devils for their ninth straight win.

Men’s Hockey: Huskies fall to UMass-Lowell in Frozen Holiday Classic Final

In the championship game of the 2014 Frozen Holiday Classic, the UConn men’s hockey team lost to UMass-Lowell 3-1 in front of 1,483 at Webster Bank Arena. Despite competing the entire game, the Huskies simply couldn’t muster enough offense to pull out the victory.

Despite the lack of offensive chances, UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh saw this game as a major milestone in the program’s development to a constant contender.

“For the first time since I’ve been here in a year and a half, I feel like our team played championship hockey for six periods,” Cavanaugh said. “I really believed we approached this weekend and played championship hockey…Right from the get go, we played a strong hockey game.”

The River Hawks managed to strike first 17:53 into the first period with Dylan Zink’s fifth goal of the season. The sophomore defensemen fired a wrist shot right past UConn goalie Rob Nichols from just over the blue line. Nichols never saw the shot due to a screen from Terrence Wallin, and the goal had the Huskies losing after the first period for the sixth time this year.

“Yeah, I didn’t see it,” Nichols said of Zink’s goal. “Their other guy [Wallin] was right in front of me, and it just hit the corner I guess. I didn’t even know where it went until I talked to one of the guys during intermission.

UConn’s best chance to tie the game back up occurred just over 12 minutes into the second period, when UMass-Lowell’s Ryan McGrath was called for interference. The Huskies couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage and were stifled offensively for the remainder of the period, mustering only eight shots on goal.

After a scoreless second period, Mike Colantone extended the River Hawks’ lead to 2-0 on a redirected shot from forward Mike Fallon with just over three minutes left in the third period. Colantone’s tip managed to deflect off Nichols and then the post to trickle through for his fifth goal of the year.

“Some nights the bounces don’t go your way,” Cavanaugh said. “Nine out of ten times [Colantone’s tip] is probably right in the goalie’s chest. They made a good play.”

AJ White clinched the inaugural Frozen Holiday Classic championship for UMass-Lowell with an empty net goal with 1:05 left. Cody Sharib put UConn on the board with 12 seconds left off a faceoff win from Ryan Tyson and pass from David Drake to prevent the shutout.

Although the Huskies fell short of their goal of winning a trophy, Coach Cavanaugh believed that the Frozen Holiday Classic featured some of UConn’s best hockey. Two Huskies, Jacob Poe and Spencer Naas, were named to the All-Tournament team, and helped lead the Huskies to last night’s victory over defending national champion Union as well as a quality performance in the championship game against UMass-Lowell. The last two games have shown that despite the team’s youth, the Huskies have the talent and drive to compete night in and night out.

“When you’re playing for trophies, the team in the locker room is usually pretty good or they wouldn’t be playing for the trophy,” Cavanaugh said. “I told the guys all we can control is our effort, and if we can keep putting forth that sort of effort, I believe that’s a championship effort, that the trophies are going to come here soon.”

 

 

 

 

 

Men’s Basketball: Huskies dominate in second half, cruise past Central Connecticut

HARTFORD — Central Connecticut head coach Howie Dickenman used three timeouts before the first media timeout in the second half to try to slow UConn down.

That did not happen.

A 19-2 run to start the half put enough distance between the Huskies and Blue Devils to allow UConn to coast through the final 15 minutes to an 81-48 win Sunday at the XL Center.

UConn (6-4) had five players in double figures, led by Ryan Boatright, who finished with 18 points, moving past Phil Gamble (1,371) into 22nd place on the all-time scoring list (1,386). Kentan Facey finished with a double-double, registering 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.

Following a 21-point performance against Columbia Monday night, Rodney Purvis put in another solid shooting night Sunday, finishing with 14 points on 4 of 7 shooting (2 of 5 from 3-point range). After a slow start to his first season at UConn, shots are starting to fall for Purvis, making his already strong relationship with Boatright even better.

“I think that he hasn’t had the best of games sometimes and he gets down on himself and he was second guessing himself too much,” Boatright said. “Since the Columbia game, his confidence is up and he’s looking like the player we know he can be.”

Omar Calhoun entered the game early in the first half looking to get his offensive game going again. After missing his first two shots, the junior woke up. A layup off of a steal and a 3-pointer from the corner resulted in five first half points for Calhoun. He finished with 11 points, the most he has scored in a game since scoring 12 against Eastern Washington on Dec. 28, 2013.

Calhoun is still struggling from the 3-point line, making just one of five against the Blue Devils (2-10).

“I’m just staying in the gym, cleaning it up a little bit. But I’ll be fine,” Calhoun said.

When that shot starts falling, Boatright thinks Calhoun will be back near the level he played at his freshman year, when he averaged 11.1 points per game.

“Just having Omar back, he’s a great teammate,” Boatright said, “and just seeing him happy again and just healthy, it’s a good feeling.”

UConn shot 48.3 percent from the field in the first half, but only made two of 10 3-pointers, allowing Central to stay within 12 at the break. The Huskies opened it up in the second half, however, making 18 of 31 shots while allowing the Blue Devils to only make seven of 25.

Even though the Huskies only allowed Central to shoot 34.5 percent from the field in the first half, they were not thrilled with their defense. Boatright said that was the key to putting the Blue Devils away early in the second.

“We jumped on them in the second half right from the get-go,” Boatright said. “They couldn’t even get it past halfcourt a few times. With that intensity and just getting to people like that that early, it just opened the game up.”

The 3-point shooting continues to be a struggle for the Huskies, who only made five of 19 attempts Sunday. As the offense starts to heat up, UConn will need the deep ball to start falling as well.

“Five of 19 is not acceptable, but we had some good looks,” head coach Kevin Ollie said. “We just have to step up and shoot.

UConn is back on the floor Wednesday against Temple to open play in the American Athletic Conference. A strong performance in conference play will be critical for the Huskies after dropping four games early in the year that could have greatly impacted seeding in the NCAA tournament.

The Huskies feel like everything is starting to come together, though. Where there was always a strong defense, there is now an offense that is finding its rhythm and making shots. That has UConn feeling good as it enters 2015.

“It’s a good time for everything to start clicking because now we have a lot more options,” Facey said. “Trying to take a lot of pressure off Boat because a lot of teams are going to try to take him out of the game.”