SAILS DOWN FOR NEWARK
Huskies to take on Pirates Sunday
UConn’s Niels Giffey dribbles the ball up the court for the Huskies during a basketball game against Rutgers at the XL Center in Hartford. JON KULAKOFSKY/The Daily Campus
Head Coach Kevin Ollie's team has developed a habit of slow starts in the last two games.
The Huskies managed just 15 points in the first half at home against South Florida and 20 points in the first 20 minutes at Madison Square Garden against St. John's. Both games featured frantic comebacks. UConn defeated USF 69-64 in overtime but ran out of gas in a 71-65 loss to St. John's.
UConn (15-6, 5-4 Big East) will get a chance to put 40 minutes together on Sunday at 12 p.m. against the Seton Hall Pirates (13-10, 2-8 Big East) at the Prudential Center.
After being named the Big East Player of the Week for the second time this season, junior Shabazz Napier was shut out in the first half vs. St. John's on Wednesday. After trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, Napier helped mount a comeback that gave the Huskies the lead before it was squandered down the stretch. Napier did not start the game for violating team rules but finished with 14 points, five assists and two steals. He still leads the team with 17 points per game.
Second in scoring is Ryan Boatright at 15.6 points per game. Boatright did not look good against St. John's. He did not record a point until late in the second half and finished with five points on 1-of-8 shooting.
Freshman Omar Calhoun was one of two players who scored in the first half in Wednesday's loss. He finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-21 shooting.
Neither junior Tyler Olander nor Enosch Wolf recorded a field goal and finished with a combined two points and eight rebounds in the loss at St. John's.
The Pirates are in the middle of the conference in rebounds per game (35.6 per game) while UConn is 14 out of 15 teams at 32.6 rebounds per game.
Seton Hall has lost eight of its last nine including a 56-46 loss at Pittsburgh on Monday. Junior Fuquan Edwin scored half of the Pirates' points and recorded five steals and four rebounds. Edwin averages a team-high 16.9 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, and is second in the Big East with 2.5 steals per game. The Pirates were without second-leading scorer Aaron Cosby, who missed the game for family reasons.
The Pirates may have the Huskies scheduled at the perfect time. UConn has shot 34.9 - and 30.9 percent in the last two games. Seton Hall held its last two opponents to a combined 35.8 percent shooting but they have only shot 36.1 percent themselves.
Connecticut has won 12 of the last 13 meetings with Seton Hall. The Huskies split the season series with the Pirates last season - losing 75-63 in Newark and winning 69-46 in Hartford.
Sunday's game can be viewed on SNY and heard on WHUS 91.7.
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