STORRS, Conn. – The four-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 near-capacity crowd of 8,000 at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.
The night featured a photo opportunity session for 300 fans, a performance by the UConn Drumline, crowd giveaways and contests, all ending with 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 being more than just fans and instead a family while Auriemma discussed how UConn basketball season is the best time of the year.
Team Geno edged Team Kevin, 51-45, in the 20-minute scrimmage behind nine points from freshman guard Christian Vital (Queens Village, N.Y.) and eight points from senior forward Kentan Facey (Trelawny, Jamaica). Sophomore forward Steven Enoch (Norwalk, Conn.) also tallied eight points in the win.
Redshirt Senior Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) and freshman Mamadou Diarra (Norwalk, Conn.) posted eight points apiece for Team Kevin in the loss. Freshman Vance Jackson (Los Angeles, Calif.) had seven points.
Junior guard Gabby Williams (Sparks, Nev.) led the women with seven points. Sophomore forward Napheesa Collier (O’Fallon, Missouri) grabbed four rebounds while junior guard Azura Stevens (Raleigh, N.C.) notched six points and three rebounds.
The men’s basketball team opens the 2016-17 season Sunday, Oct. 30, at the XL Center with an exhibition contest against New Haven. On Tuesday, Nov. 1, the women’s basketball team begins its season in an exhibition game against Indiana University (Pa.) at Gampel Pavilion.