UConn pulls away, defeats Providence

All those who say they saw Jamal Coombs-McDaniel salvaging the Huskies’ season, I have one word: Liars!

Yet that’s exactly what Coombs-McDaniel did tonight, playing the game of his career, scoring 25 points with 8 rebounds, helping the Huskies put away their nemesis, the Providence Friars.

Already reeling from the lost of three of their last four games, the Huskies were locked in what seems to be a yearly struggle with Providence.  Coombs-McDaniel scored 8 of the Huskies’ last 9 points of the first half as the Huskies went from a 4 point deficit to a 3 point lead at the break.  With games coming up against Georgetown, at Louisville, home against Marquette, at Cincinnati, and West Virginia, and home against Notre Dame, a loss today could have been devastating.  But time and time again, Coombs-McDaniel put the Huskies on his back and led them to victory.  In doing so, he may have not only saved the Huskies’ season, but perhaps his own career.  Coombs-McDaniel has thus far been a bit of disappointment, though I believe he will be a key contributor for the Huskies over the next 2 1/2 seasons, as long as he sticks around.

The Huskies move to 19-5 overall, 7-5 in the Big East. Despite their brilliant start this season, they are not shoo-ins for the NCAA Tournament.  They probably need to win at least 2, preferably 3 of their final 6 regular season games to make it in.  There are certainly no gimmes left on the schedule.


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