Big Day for the Huskies; Women defeat Notre Dame 79-76; Men take down Texas 82-81


It was a very good day for UConn Basketball today, with the men and women defeating highly ranked opponents on the road.

First, it was the #2 ranked women’s team pulling out a win over #12 Notre Dame in South Bend, defeating the Fighting Irish by a final score of 79-76.  Kelly Faris hit the game winning layup with 14 seconds remaining, and Stefanie Dolson knocked down 2 free throws for the final margin.

Then it was the men’s turn, and they didn’t disappoint, coming back in this game to win in overtime over #12 Texas, 82-81.  At times they looked like they were going to get blown out, then they seemed in control late in the second half, only to need an extra session to come away with a close win.  Kemba Walker came back from a poor shooting night to score the Huskies last 7 points, including the game winning layup.

For the men, Walker led the way with 22 points and 9 boards, but shot only 8-27 from the field, to go along with 4 turnovers.  After a phenomenal start to the season, Walker’s shooting has really cooled off, and he’s taking a very high percentage of UConn’s shots.

Alex Oriakhi, who has struggled on the glass recently, pulled down a career high 21 rebounds against a pretty good Texas front line, to go along with 11 points.

Shabazz Napier finished with a pretty good night, scoring 15 points, all in the final 20 minutes of the game.  Roscoe Smith pitched in with 13 points, and the Huskies received contributions from 2 unexpected sources: Donnell Beverly with 8 point and Charles Okwandu with 7.

For the women, Maya Moore led with 31 points and 8 rebounds.  Kelly Faris scored a career high 20 points, including the game winner.  Tiffany Hayes was in early foul trouble and struggled at times, finishing with 11.  Freshman Stefanie Dolson led the Huskies with 8 rebounds.

My take:

Great wins for both programs; probably a bigger win for the men.  The women have lost their air of invincibility, but remain one of the top 5 programs.  They may continue to struggle because of youth, but should continue to be in contention for the title.  The men have a brutal in-conference schedule coming up, plus Tennessee, and have really been struggling.  They seem to be doing it with mirrors, because most of the young players are really up and down.  Most games it’s Kemba Walker with very inconsistent support; lately, Walker has been struggling himself.  I’m still worried about a long losing streak, because this team is very young and has a lot of holes.  But this was a great win.

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