In typical UConn fashion, the Huskies dug themselves a 15-point hole and stormed back thanks to some timely shooting from Shabazz Napier and Omar Calhoun.
Napier canned four 3-pointers in the second half and Calhoun hit 5-of-12 for the game. But unlike previous rallies, this one ended in an L.
A few UConn defensive breakdowns and two big shots from D’Angelo Harrison sparked a 9-0 run that eventually propelled St. John’s to the 71-65 win.
Kevin Ollie had little to say afterwards.
*Ollie on UConn’s second consecutive lackadaisical first half: “I have no idea. We’re going to keep going to the drawing board, when we play with effort and energy, you see what happens in the second half. That’s on me, and I’m going to have to make changes.”
*Ryan Boatright sat for 9:17 and DeAndre Daniels spent 11:24 on the bench as UConn mounted its comeback. When the duo exited with 16:06 left, UConn trailed by 15. When Daniels returned at the 4:28 mark, the Huskies led 53-51.
“We have to start a game out in a different way,” said UConn junior Niels Giffey. “I think it’s a lack of energy in the beginning. We always find ways to come back, but we can’t give our opponents a huge lead.”
*Shabazz Napier (unspecified violation of team rules) did not play in the first 6:13. He was not available for comment.
“It didn’t really make a difference (not having Napier),” Daniels said. “Obviously we just came out flat so we were missing our shots.”
*UConn fell victim to the St. John’s zone and launched 28 3-pointers, a number too high for Ollie’s liking.
“Both (Boatright and Napier) have to attack the basket a little bit more,” Ollie said. “We have to attack and get to the rim. We can’t settle for shooting 28 3s.”
*UConn is now 5-4 in games decided by six points or less.