Why Connecticut Won at Providence for First Time Since 2006

By Ryan Darcy
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been well documented that the Dunkin’ Donuts Center isn’t the easiest Big East venue to play in the despite how good or bad the Providence Friars are.

Connecticut came in looking for a win in Providence for the first time since 2006, when Rudy Gay, Jeff Adrien and Hilton Armstrong led the Huskies to a 76-62 win.

Last night’s win wasn’t as convincing, but a win is a win is a win, no matter how pretty or ugly it was–there were 55 fouls called resulting in 66 free throw attempts.

So how did UConn–who got outrebounded 55-24–win the overtime thriller, 82-79?

Solid shooting, defense, an inside presence and free throws when it counted all helped the Huskies escape victorious. Going in, the Huskies knew they needed to neutralize the boards to have a chance–turns out, they didn’t need that at all.

The Huskies shot an even 50% from the floor last night including 9-of-17 from beyond the arc while their defense held the Friars to a staggering 33.8 percent from the field. Providence was even worse from deep, only making 3-of-14 three-pointers. Nothing seemed to be dropping for Providence despite four players scoring at least 15 points, led by forward Kadeem Batts‘ 20. UConn also had four players in double digits, paced by Ryan Boatright‘s 19 points.

UConn’s inside presence was a key to the win as well. The Huskies got past the minus-31 rebounding margin  by altering and blocking shots all night–10 to be exact. Nothing came easy for Providence, except offensive rebounds (23), however the Friars weren’t able to parlay them into many points.

Connecticut also forced 17 turnovers while only committing 11 of their own.

At the free throw line, UConn was outscored 32-19 but made the big ones when it mattered most–overtime. The Huskies were 7-for-8 from the line in OT.

The Huskies only attempted three shots in overtime–all three-pointers–and hit two of them while Providence was just 1-of-4 from the floor in the extra session.

Scrappy play, solid defense and timely shooting helped the Huskies leave the DDC with an elusive win.

Like what I have to say? Agree? Disagree? Let me know. Follow Ryan Darcy on Twitter @Ryan_D_Rants

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