UCONN may be 12-10 (13-10 after this win over Cincinnati), but they are a team that no one wants to play when it matters most. They are well coached in Dan Hurley. And, have a long history of guys wanting to play hard. Coming into this game, UCONN was 0-3 in Overtime games and have had 5 losses decided by 5 points or fewer. Connecticut needed this win not only to stay alive in the conference but to show the American and the Nation that you DO NOT want to play us.
Being this is the beginning to covering UCONN basketball for our website, I thought I should talk about MY coach for a hot second. Hurley, came over to UCONN after a very successful coaching stint at URI. So far here in Connecticut, it has been so far disappointing. However, it is only his second season and he needs his recruits to make sure this team reaches their full potential. Now, to yesterday afternoon’s game. There is not much to say about Hurley, but how the passion he has for coaching. You can just see it in his post-game emotion. With February and a little of March to go, maybe Coach Hurley and company can lead a cinderella story.
Overtime Win Vs. Cincy
9 total points were scored in Overtime. However, 5 were scored by UCONN giving them the one-point edge in this game. James Bouknight led all Huskies scorers with 23, including the two game-winning free throws. Him and Vital were deadly all game as those two scorers combined for 42 of the Huskies 72 points. UCONN kept 2019 AAC player of the year Jarron Cumberland out of check, only allowing him to score 8 points. He missed a go-ahead layup at the end of OT and failed to get a shot off to win it in regulation.
Freshman James Bouknight had one of, if not his best game in the white and blue. He scored 23 points and took a career-high 19 shots. Coach Hurley told the kid to shoot, and he did. He hit the game-winning free throws in the last minute of overtime and hit clutch shots all throughout the 2nd half to ultimately give the Huskies the win. Bouknight is following in great footsteps of UCONN guards such as Kemba Walker, Shabazz Napier and even Jalen Adams. Bouknight can etch himself as one of these guards with a coming out party over the next few weeks and maybe over the next 3 years.
On the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Gampel Pavilion, UCONN gets its first win over Cincinnati since Jalen Adams shot in the 2016 AAC quarterfinals. Hurley is trying to put 3-time national champion Huskies back on the map win-by-win but it is going to take some time. This was a big home win and hopefully of positive signs to come after previous tough losses throughout the season.
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*Featured image courtesy of Hartford Courant*