STORRS, Conn. – The three-time defending national champion UConn women’s basketball team and the men’s basketball team held their annual First Night event Friday night in front of a full-capacity crowd at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. The night featured a player autograph session, a performance by the Connecticut Drumline, crowd giveaways and a scrimmage between Team Kevin and Team Geno, which were previously determined by a fan vote.
Following player introductions, men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie and women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma addressed the fans before the scrimmage began. Ollie thanked the UConn faithful for sticking with the team last season while Auriemma discussed how other venues have great fans but nothing can compare to UConn.
Team Geno edged Team Kevin, 63-56, in the 20-minute scrimmage behind 14 points from senior forward Phil Nolan (Milwaukee, Wis.) and 10 points from redshirt freshman guard Terry Larrier (Bronx, N.Y.). Sophomore guard Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) tallied nine points in the win.
Graduate student forward Shonn Miller (Euclid, Ohio) and freshman Steven Enoch (Norwalk, Conn.) posted 12 points apiece for Team Kevin in the loss. Redshirt junior Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) had 11 points.
Freshman guard Napheesa Collier (O’Fallon, Missouri) led the women with eight points. Sophomore guard Gabby Williams (Sparks, Nev.) grabbed four rebounds while sophomore guard Kia Nurse (Hamilton, Ontario) notched six points, three boards and two assists.
The men’s basketball team opens the 2015-16 season on Sunday, Nov. 1 in an exhibition game against the University of Tampa in Gampel Pavilion. On Monday, Nov. 2, the women’s basketball squad will kick off its season opener at the XL Center with an exhibition against Lubbock Christian.
Freshman guard Jalen Adams
On First Night
“It was unreal playing in front of all those people.”
On practice so far
“The first couple of weeks of practice have been tough. Lots of running and defense. We’re just competing. It’s good for us. We definitely all know it’s going to pay off.”
On his relationship with redshirt junior Rodney Purvis
“It’s definitely a great thing, he’s a great guy.”