UConn Upsets #3 Villanova: 84-75
Behind Kemba Walker, the Huskie point guard who has struggled mightily all season long, and his career-high 29 points, the erratic Huskies were able to knock off the nation's number-three team. It comes as a surprise to many due to the recent slide UConn has been on - losing five of their last six games entering Monday night's contest.
With a surprising lead of 36-35 at the half, UConn looked even better in the 2nd half. They hit their first seven shots to kick-off the period, including two 3's by Walker. UConn continued their hot shooting, hitting 80% from the field in the second half, and shooting 67% over the course of the entire game. The keys to UConn's victory were the combination of their offensive burst and holding Villanova's star and All-America candidate, Scottie Reynolds, in check in the 2nd half. Reynolds managed just four points on 2-of-6 shooting. His poor shooting could have been due to chasing Jerome Dyson all over the court on the defensive side.
For the first time in a long time, Kemba Walker was the star of a UConn win. He hit clutch jumpers and made excellent decisions, especially during his team's 2nd half run. UConn's defense was also key in the game. They held 'Nova to 40.6% shooting from the field and contested all jump shots, especially ones put up by Reynolds.
With the win, UConn is still only 15-11 overall and 5-8 in Big East play. But, this is definitely a step in the right direction for them. Almost every analyst and fan had already counted the Huskies out, yet they came through with a much-needed victory. In order to keep their slim hopes of making it to the Big Dance alive, it is almost necessary for them to win out the rest of the season, and follow that up with a run in the Big East Tournament.
By Corey Ruff - President - 2-15-10