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Post-game breakdown, video: Fordham

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published 12/21/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 12/22/2012 01:27 AM

UConn played two different brands of basketball from the first half to the second half on Friday.

Good thing the Huskies roared to a 32-point first half lead.

They needed the cushion, as they went flat and Fordham climbed to within to 13 (63-50) with just over 13 minutes left.

UConn pulled away again for an 88-73 victory.

"Fortunately, we came out with the win," coach Kevin Ollie said.

Sophomore Ryan Boatright had a career high 26 points. The Huskies are 9-2 heading into the holiday break.

Some post-game news, notes and quotes from the non-conference game at the XL Center inHartford:

-- Nice to see reserve Tyler Olander make a contribution. He came off the bench to chip in five points and six rebounds in 17 minutes. He had only four points and five rebounds in the previous three games.

Starting center Enosch Wolf struggled again, finishing with more fouls (3) than points and rebounds combined (1) in just eight minutes.

Overall, the frontcourt continues to have issues. Backcourt players, including reserve R.J. Evans (nine points), combined for 71 of UConn's 88 points.

"It's still a work in progress," Ollie said of the frontcourt. "We're going to keep trying to find somebody. They're going to keep playing. We can't go out and get Patrick Ewing. … Nobody is transferring here the second half of the season."

-- UConn lost the rebounding battle for the 10th time in 11 games. Fordham held a 40-28 edge, including 25-13 in the second half.

Fordham's dominance under the basket propelled a 19-0 run in the second half that helped cut the deficit to 13.

"It was a problem again," Ollie said.

-- The Huskies continue to share the basketball. For the second straight game, they had 21 assists. Boatright had a career-high nine assists but also six turnovers.

In the first half, the Huskies had 16 assists on 21 baskets and just two turnovers. They had 11 turnovers overall.

"I was really impressed with the way we moved the ball in the first half," Ollie said.

The Huskies have an impressive 42 assists and 20 turnovers in the last two games.

-- No Husky is hotter than Boatright who is averaging 21 points in the last three games. He's converted 24-of-35 from field goal attempts.

"I've been in the gym really focusing on my jump shot," Boatright said. "It's really paying off."

Ollie said: "He's playing good basketball. He's getting the ball in his spots. He's shooting the ball particularly well. … We want him to catch the ball and not hold it too much, and dribble, dribble, dribble."

-- A good sign: For the second straight game, four Huskies scored in double figures. Boatright had 26 and freshman Omar Calhoun scored 17 points while junior Shabazz Napier had 19 points and sophomore DeAndre Daniels added 10.

-- UConn had a season high 57 points in the first half.

-- Ollie, who's operating with a seven-month contract, had his share of supporters in the crowd on Friday. Several fans shouted: "Give Kevin a contract!"

-- The Huskies shot the ball well all over the court -- 50.8 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from 3-point range and 81.8 percent from the line.

-- UConn is off until Dec. 29 when it hosts Washington in Hartford. The Huskies are heading home for Christmas.

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