Men's Basketball: Down 14, No. 10 UConn overcomes Washington in first road test
Published: Sunday, December 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, December 22, 2013 18:12
UConn needed a strong bounce-back performance after its first loss of the season, and it got it Sunday against Washington.
Lasan Kromah finished with 14 points and five steals and Shabazz Napier added 20 points, as the 10th-ranked Huskies overcame a 14-point first half deficit to beat Washington 82-70 at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.
Sunday was UConn’s first true road game of the 2013-14 season. The victory was the Huskies’ third in their first true road game of a season since the 2007-08 season.
UConn (10-1) entered the game on the back of a 5 of 31 shooting performance in the second half Wednesday night against Stanford, as the Huskies saw a 10-point halftime lead turn into their first loss of the season. The top-ranked 3-point shooting team in the country entering Wednesday, UConn shot 0 of 12 in the second half.
The Huskies’ woes continued early Sunday. After Omar Calhoun put UConn up 4-2, the Huskies would score from the field for about five minutes. Meanwhile, Washington slowly built its lead.
UConn found it difficult to stop Washington, as seven players combined to help the home team get out to a 31-17 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.
But that is as far ahead as Lorenzo Romar’s team would get.
Amida Brimah, who made his first career start in place of Phil Nolan, put back a DeAndre Daniels miss to spark what would become a 26-8 run to end the half, giving UConn a 43-39 halftime lead.
Out of the halftime break, UConn’s balanced attack chiseled out a double-digit lead, with Napier, Kromah, DeAndre Daniels, Ryan Boatright, Omar Calhoun and Phil Nolan combined for the Huskies’ first 19 points of the second half, pushing UConn’s lead to 13 at 61-48.
UConn shot 12 of 20 from the field in the second half, shooting 54.9 percent for the game.
C.J. Wilcox and Hartford native Mike Anderson did everything they could to get Washington back in the game, but the other Huskies were only able to get within eight points.
Kromah’s big defensive performance, which included two steals and a fast-break layup within a 25-second span, helped keep Washington at bay.
UConn outrebounded Washington 29-27 on Sunday, grabbing 17 rebounds on the defensive glass.
UConn’s next game will see the Huskies return home, kind of. Instead of playing at Gampel Pavilion or the XL Center, UConn will host Eastern Washington at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on Dec. 28.