Adama Sanogo's 20 points lead UConn to 70-65 victory over Seton Hall
February 17, 2022
The Connecticut men's basketball team defeated the Seton Hall Pirates 70-65 on Wednesday night at Gampel Pavilion. The victory secured the Huskies' third place in the Big East and continued its record to 18-7 overall and 9-5 in the conference. In the game, forward Adama Sanogo had a dominant performance, finishing with a double-double consisting of 20 points and 16 rebounds. Tyrese Martin and RJ Cole also contributed. Cole scored 16 points, while Martin also had a double-double with 16 points and ten rebounds. Head coach Dan Hurley noted that having three players who were all-conference performers helped the team's success throughout the season. "When you have three guys playing at an all-conference level in a game, or throughout a season, you're going to have a great season or a good chance of winning," Hurley said.
UConn's tight defense wins
The game started with the Pirates hitting only one of their first ten shots. Aside from being able to hold them to a low percentage from the field, the Huskies' defense also contributed to the team's success by blocking numerous shots. The Huskies played tight defense on the perimeter and contested every shot under the rim. UConn kept Seton Hall's shooting to only 42.6 percent with that lockdown defense. Kevin Willard, the head coach of the Pirates, stated that the team's inability to rebound contributed to the defeat. He also admitted that the Huskies' size and energy affected his team. "They destroyed us on the glass," said the coach. "When you're on the road and you're playing in a great atmosphere, you can't give as many second shots as we gave them." UConn has been playing defensive basketball throughout the season. The team averaged 5.3 blocks, 38.2 rebounds, and 6.2 steals per game. According to Martin, the defense and rebounding were the keys to the team's victory. He noted that when the team plays at its high level, it can beat anybody. "We're a defensive team first. That's where we set the tone, with defense and rebounding," Pirates' guard said. "When we're doing that a high level, I mean, it's hard to beat us. And when you add the offense in like we did in the second half, it gets really hard to beat us."
Huskies' coach technical foul problem entering Wednesday night
Hurley has been called for two technical fouls entering Wednesday during the last two games. The coach noted that he regrets his behavior. Hurley said that being frustrated by the team's performance often leads to an argument with the referees. It's like fighting for your life on the court. "When we are not playing well, that tends to get directed at the officials, out of frustration, which then creates that scene which I desperately would like to avoid," the 49 years old coach said. "But really you feel like you are fighting for your life on game night. When you are fighting for your life, it is fight or flight and I fight my (butt) off." After he was called for a technical foul during a game against Xavier, Hurley called the officials "a joke." The Big East then issued a statement that told him to avoid criticizing the officials. Hurley noted that he should have never made these statements about the officials. He said that his actions have created a negative image of the game this season. Luckily, the coach had learned his lesson and did not repeat it during the game against Seton Hall.