STORRS, Conn. – The fans piled in early for a familiar Gampel Pavillion showdown. As the first on-campus matchup of the season, coach Dan Hurley was incredibly happy with the level of fan support for the University of Connecticut’s win over Boston University last Friday.
“We’re blessed to be able to play in such an environment with the students. The students were awesome today and the players always respond in the atmosphere too,” said Hurley.
The fans in Gampel Pavillion certainly had a lot to cheer for, especially with Adama Sanogo on his A-game in the 86-57 win. The big man had 27 points and 15 rebounds in the win as he led the Huskies to another dominant victory during the team’s second non-conference matchup. Most notably, Sanogo was able to stretch the court with two three-point shots to add to his scoring total on the night.
“He played like an All-American,” said Coach Hurley.
After the team shot just 5-24 in their win over Stonehill, the team responded very well from beyond the arc with a team three-point shooting percentage of 47.6%. One of the players who led the charge on Friday in the team’s improved shooting was Nahiem Alleyne, who ended the night with 11 points. Alleyne’s shooting has continued to be a big weapon for the Huskies on the offensive end as they run the team’s playbook.
One of the biggest positives from the Huskies was their defense. It took the Terriers over five minutes to score their first basket and when the first half concluded, UConn allowed just 23 points and held the Terries to 26.9% shooting in the first half. Along with the great on-ball defense by Alleyne, freshman Donovan Clingan continues to show what he can do on defense, ending the night with two blocks in 10 minutes of play.
“He’s not playing like a freshman. He’s a beast down there,” said forward Alex Karaban.
In 24 minutes, Karaban was able to put up 10 points in 24 minutes in a win on the forward’s 20th birthday. His ability to space the court for the Huskies, while contributing with four assists, two rebounds and a steal give coach Hurley a lot to look forward to with the growth of the UConn forward.
“As this year goes, he’s just going to get better and better in terms of his production and how much of a factor he’s going to be offensively,” said Hurley.
The team is looking to keep this level of production, especially as they deal with injuries to Samson Johnson, Andre Jackson and Jordan Hawkins. With Johnson now out due to a right foot injury and Hawkins in concussion protocol, the Huskies will need every player to step up. Whether that’s Alleyne, Karaban or point guard Tristen Newton, the level of production that both players bring to the court will be missed dearly by the Huskies.
The Huskies will now look to go for their third straight win against Buffalo on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the XL Center.