The No. 2 UConn Men’s Basketball Team suffered a loss, with a continued shooting struggle against Xavier on Saturday and an out-of-character defense that led to the loss.

The road doesn’t get any easier over the next two weeks for the 14-1 Huskies, nor does the target sign on their backs get smaller. Providence was next, where he overwhelmed Butler on Thursday with his sixth straight win. The Huskies will then return to the Storrs for another test with Clayton at his Gumpel pavilion on Saturday before flying to Milwaukee for Marquette on January 11th.

UConn’s defense is its strength, but the Huskies have been unable to do enough to hamper the Musketeers. KenPom’s seventh-best offense in the country, making 53.8% of his shots, and in 28 attempts he fouled the Huskies on 23 free throws, taking advantage of getting him into trouble. did. from the line.

UConn shut down Sean Miller’s team from across the arc (4/13) where Xavier boasts the 10th best 3-point percentage in the nation, but the experienced Musketeers are ready and inside. inflicted damage. Jack Nanji, 7-foot-9, and Zach Fremantle, 6-foot-9, teamed up to defeat Adama Sanogo and Alex Karaban for a combined 31 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Then there was the exceptional guard play from Colby Jones, who scored 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and Jerome Hunter, who had 15 points and five rebounds off the bench and made all nine free throws. did.

Xavier knew that UConn wanted to force a turnover and win in transition, but he flipped the script to score 18 points from the 16 Husky giveaways and let UConn win 12 turnovers. You can earn just 8 points from

2023 will be a tough start for the Harley team. Some tough practice leading up to Providence, a need to return to a defensive identity, and an answer to recent poor offense (averaging 42.5% off the field since the start of Big East Play) has never been more important.

With the Huskies hoping to get back on track, here are some key points that led to the loss.

UConn tied the program record with 37 in three-point attempts on Saturday. This is the same record that Phil Knight did this year when he faced Oregon in his opening game of the Invitational. Prior to that match on November 24, his previous best (35) was against Syracuse in the 2009 Big East Tournament quarterfinals. It was the longest game in Big East history, with Syracuse winning his 127-117 after six overtime games.

In its first four games playing in the Big East, UConn has attempted 31.5 3-pointers per game, making 34.1% of them. Big Before playing in his East, the Huskies averaged 25.4 of his 3-point attempts per game and shot his ball deep 37.6 percent of the time.

Now, as the team begins to find weaknesses in Harley’s offense, the pressure redistributed away from Andre Jackson is making it harder to find open shots for Jordan Hawkins (3 in Big East play). from 30%). Most of Caravan’s 3-point attempts were relatively open and on rhythm, but he still shoots about 36% past the arc.

As they were scrambled for a comeback, all six shots UConn fired in the final 80 seconds on Saturday were from across the arc and all missed.

Jackson – a superstar athlete, inspirational leader and motor at both ends of the floor for UConn – has allowed doubts about his shooting ability to play into the Huskies’ entire offense. After receiving a technical foul for talking to his opponent’s bench in the match, Jackson responded by shooting a barrage of 3-pointers as he was left open by Xavier.

To his credit, Jackson made it four of the first nine, letting Miller’s team guard him a little tighter on the perimeter. He desperately took a 3 as the Huskies tried to break out of a 6-point deficit with 90 seconds left.

Jackson, who played a team-leading 37 minutes on Saturday, is too valuable to the Huskies in defensive ends and transitions for Harley to take him off the court. But the Huskies need to figure out how to make him successful offensively. He adds value in driving to the rim, grabbing rebounds and passing the ball (he had two assists to complete a triple-double on Saturday). .

Xavier wanted to get the Huskies into foul trouble on Saturday, with Caravan fouling out and Tristen Newton and Hawkins picking up four each. Occurring in too many lanes, a sly guard like Hunter made all nine foul shots off the bench.

Donovan Klingan may have helped on the inside, but it was probably the perimeter and high and low threats of Nanji and Fremantle that caused concern for Hurley and kept Klingan on the court for just seven minutes. A ft. 2 bench weapon, the Sanogo Reserve compiled a performance of 4 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists on block.

A technical foul was called on Harley with about two and a half minutes remaining on Saturday, claiming a foul was called on Newton after one of Fremantle’s free throws had already been missed, giving Xavier two extra points and a six-point advantage. was able to give After the game, Hurley told reporters in Cincinnati that the words he used were “incredible”, referring to the big free-throw disparity in the game.UConn said he went 9-4. , Xavier he scored 28-23.

Hurley is right. At baseline, the 9 fouls called against Xavier are impressive against the 22 fouls called against UConn. Both teams had “bad” calls and no-calls, but the styles of play were very different between the two teams. Xavier was aggressive, driving into the paint and shooting through inside contact. Most of UConn’s shots, 37 of 67, came from the outside, and seven of his free throws for the Huskies came from Hawkins, who fouled him twice on three-point attempts. .

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