It really wasn’t ever close. The Connecticut Huskies annihilated the Maine Black Bears by the score of 95-68 at the XL Center in downtown Hartford, Conn. on Friday night. Most of Maine’s second-half points came against UConn’s bench players. With the win, the No. 12 Huskies improve to a perfect 9-0 and the Black Bears fall to a lowly 1-7.
Senior captain Shabazz Napier didn’t have to do much scoring-wise, as he recorded just seven points. However, he distributed the ball very well in a small amount of playing time, dishing out eight dimes, some of which landed in the hands of teammates Ryan Boatright, who dropped 17 points, DeAndre Daniels, who scored 16, and Omar Calhoun, who recorded 16 as well.
Sixth man Niels Giffey added 12 points and continued his blazing shooting percentage, going 4-of-5 from the field, including 1-of-2 from three-point range. On the season, he is shooting 30-of-43 from the field, or 69.8 percent. From behind the arc, he is 18-of-26, or 69.2 percent. Both of those statistics are mind-boggling. In the future, especially in conference games, I expect Kevin Ollie to use Giffey in an expanded role.
Despite the huge win, the lack of production in the post offensively was very evident yet again. Phillip Nolan, Kentan Facey, Tyler Olander and Amida Brimah combined for a total of 12 points. While the team’s focus offensively primarily concerns an outside shooting component, it would be nice to get some sort of point production on the inside at some point. However, if UConn shoots 14-for-25 from three-point range like they did against Maine, they can be unbeatable.
Defensively, the team was effective once again, holding Maine to 40.7 percent shooting. Facey led the Huskies with nine rebounds and Napier had four steals.
The Huskies will take the court in 12 days when they welcome the Stanford Cardinal to Connecticut. Tip off is at 9:00 p.m. ET.