(WTNH)–Another game, another depressing, deflating, frustrating loss.
Just as scientists have recently discovered new and remarkable properties of the physical universe, this UConn team is discovering new and remarkable ways to lose games.
The Huskies (17-7, 7-4/American) lost in especially impressive fashion on Thursday night, blowing a 12-point lead with five minutes to play and bowing to Temple, 63-58.
Here are some fun facts from Thursday’s game:
–UConn turned the ball over five times in the final five minutes, paving the way for a 21-4 Temple run. They also missed five straight shots, including a layup.
–Temple guard Quenton DeCosey went on a personal 9-2 run in the final 1:51.
–UConn turned the ball over on its last three possessions, including a game-clinching double dribble called on Rodney Purvis, which happened seconds after the Huskies inbounded the ball with 14 seconds to go, trailing by three.
–The Huskies have now been swept by Temple for the second straight year, and now sit in fifth place in the AAC standings. They’re 0-4 against the four teams ahead of them, and still haven’t played SMU.
Deep breaths, UConn fans.
Where does this leave the Huskies?
Well, they definitely need a win over Tulsa on Saturday night. They probably need to beat SMU (home, Feb. 18) and Cincinnati (away, Feb. 20) to feel better about their at-large resume, although some bracketologists may place them squarely on the bubble even with those wins.
All still isn’t lost. The Huskies’ wins over Michigan (18-7, 8-4/Big Ten) and Texas (16-8, 7-4/Big XII) keep looking better and better. And hey, we’ve still got Geno Auriemma.
But with opportunities dwindling and bad losses piling up, it’s getting to be do-or-die for this UConn team. The promising season that once was has given way to this maddening, frustrating outfit that can’t score and doesn’t get consistent performance from anyone other than Shonn Miller.
Amida Brimah got into early foul trouble on Thursday, and ended up with 3 points and 2 rebounds in 19 minutes. Daniel Hamilton shot 4-for-12, including 1-of-5 from the three-point line and finished with 9 points.
Jalen Adams was 2-for-8 (6 points), Sterling Gibbs was 2-for-6 (9 points), and Rodney Purvis was 5-for-12 (12 points). As a team, the Huskies shot 39 percent, and 29 from the three-point line (5-for-17).
Poor shooting has been, unfortunately, the story of the season. UConn is hitting at 46 percent as a team this season, which ranks 68th in the country. They’re shooting 35.5 percent from three, which ranks 148th.
They’re not playing with the confidence they had early in the year, when they blasted Michigan and looked like they were going to roll to a win over Syracuse in the Bahamas. They’ve reverted to last season’s NIT form, when they couldn’t put the ball in the basket and generally played like they all just met each other five minutes before the game. Yo, you guys wanna run?
It’s not over yet, and there’s still time to (finally) turn things around.
But much like Albert Einstein never lived to see the scientific confirmation of his gravitational waves theory, this season may not last long enough for UConn to realize its potential.
If these Huskies ever do find themselves, it might be too late.