Nov. 4, 2013
HARTFORD, Conn. – Four Huskies scored in double figures to pace UConn to a 98-38 win over Concordia University (Ill.) in the team’s final preseason game Monday night at the XL Center in Hartford.
UConn guard Omar Calhoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led all scorers in the game with 16 points on 6-10 field goals. The sophomore knocked down four three-pointers and added seven rebounds for the Huskies, who were in control the entire game, jumping out to a 16-1 lead in the early going.
“Over the last week I stayed in the gym trying to get my craft back,” Calhoun said. “I think I did a good job of getting everything where I wanted it to be.”
Husky freshman Terrence Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was methodical on offense Monday, finishing the game with a double-double, as he scored 10 points and handed out 12 assists. Samuel and junior forward DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) both recorded a double-double for UConn this preseason.
“Terrence played incredible,” Connecticut men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie said. “He’s been doing that the whole preseason. For him to have a double-double, it really shows his patience and his vision. It’s good to have that in my back pocket.”
Other offensive leaders for UConn on the night were Daniels, who chipped in 11 points and five rebounds, and senior guard Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany), who totaled 12 points despite scoring just one basket in the first half. The senior came on strong in the second period, scoring eight points in less than two minutes at one point to push the UConn lead to 77-29 with 8:33 remaining in the game.
UConn shot well from behind the arc all game, making 50 percent of their three-point attempts on 14-28 shooting. Graduate student Losan Kromah (Greenbelt, Md.) and sophomore Leon Tolksdorf (Berlin, Germany) each hit three three-pointers, while Giffey knocked down two.
On defense, the Huskies were relentless, forcing 18 turnovers and holding Concordia to just 20.8 percent shooting on the night. Junior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) led the defensive effort, as he recorded three steals in the game, while UConn freshman Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) managed two blocks.
Concordia forward Nat Pearson led the Cougars on offense, scoring 11 points on 3-7 field goals to go along with three assists. Despite shooting a poor percentage, Concordia was able to make seven three-pointers in the game, with Pearson going 3-7 from the three-point line.
UConn guards Pat Lenehan (Middletown, Conn.) and Tor Watts (Brooklyn, N.Y.) both saw minutes late in the game after the Huskies built a sizeable lead, and Lenehan made the most of his time. The junior scored seven points in just five minutes, hitting two shots and a couple of free throws to go along with one rebound.
Connecticut opens regular season play this Friday against Maryland at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on ESPN 2.