Top Husky performances over break

Running back Kevin Mensah scores a touchdown during a game against SMU on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Rentschler Field (Charlotte Lao, Photo Editor/The Daily Campus)

Running back Kevin Mensah scores a touchdown during a game against SMU on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Rentschler Field (Charlotte Lao, Photo Editor/The Daily Campus)

While you were back home or wherever relaxing on break and stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving, a lot of UConn athletes were still hard at work. Several feasted last week, just in a different way. Here are some of the Huskies who had exemplar showings last week:

Jalen Adams, Men’s Basketball

Jalen Adams was Jalen Adams last week. If you don’t know, that means approximately 20 points, a couple of assists and rebounds and some acrobatic finishes at the rim. Against two admittedly inferior opponents he did what he had to. On Nov. 20 he led UConn in scoring with 21 points on 9-16 shooting, three assists and two steals as the Huskies drubbed Cornell 91-74. He followed it up with a 17-point performance, tied for leading the team, along with four rebounds and an impressive 8-10 shooting as UConn maimed visiting UNH 91-66 in only 25 minutes after averaging similar numbers in 38 minutes per game last year.

Kevin Mensah, Football

Mensah has become an ole reliable of sorts for UConn football. Despite the bleakness surrounding so much of the team, you knew it was likely he would produce. Not even the best runner in his own backfield, he often went overlooked. This past week UConn got drubbed by Temple but Mensah still had 24 carries for 94 yards, good for a 3.9 yards-per-carry average and a strong overall outing. More importantly, the outing put him over 1,000 yards rushing at 1045 (on 225 carries). It gave UConn two 1,000-yard rushers on the season, a first since the glory days of Andre Dixon and Jordan Todman in 2009 as well as deserved accolade he can hang his hat on before next year.

Napheesa Collier, Women’s Basketball

Stop me if you heard this one before, but UConn women’s basketball won their in-season tournament. Down in the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam, Collier made sure she packed her game. She averaged 18 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. This was accentuated by a 19-point, 10 rebound double-double in their 86-40 championship win against Purdue. Don’t know about pie, but as a treat she was awarded the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award as well. National No. 16 DePaul comes to Gampel on Wednesday to challenge her and the Huskies.

Karl El-Mir, Men’s Hockey

Despite a glut of European players, the Huskies did not fare well in Belfast, where they partook in the Friendship Four tournament overseas last week. The Huskies lost to Hockey East rival Boston University 3-2 in their opener and 6-3 to Nutmeg rival Yale the next day. Still, five goals isn’t terrible. The Huskies spread the scoring wealth around, but El-Mir led the pack with one goal and two assists for four points. He scored and assisted against the Terriers and had an assist against the Bulldogs. He now has seven goals (second on the team), four assists (T-fourth) and 11 points (third) in his senior season.

Danika Pasqua and Viki Harkness, Women’s Hockey

The women’s hockey team split a pair of non-conference but in-state games in New Haven over the weekend, losing to Quinnipiac 3-2 on Friday before bouncing back for a 1-0 win against Yale on Saturday. Against Quinnipiac the freshman Pasqua impressively scored two goals in the second period, giving UConn the lead at the time. The next night it was Harkness, in the third period, putting UConn ahead as the lone goal of the night as enough to seal a victory for the good guys.

Caylee Parker, Volleyball

UConn Volleyball concluded their season during the break with two conference matches but Parker, a freshman outside hitter, went down swinging. In a 3-0 victory over Wichita State on Nov. 18 she had 12 Kills and an Ace. The season ending match was a 3-1 defeat to Temple on Nov. 21 where she was the teams Kills leader with 21, eight more than the next Husky. The Canadian’s inaugural season wrapped with 434 kills, by far best on the team.


Matt Barresi is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.barresi@uconn.edu.