Connecticut bounced back from an upset loss in its Big East opener with a win in its last outing. Now the Huskies will look to start building momentum Wednesday night when they host a sinking Seton Hall team they have beaten nine straight times.
The No. 13 Huskies (10-3, 1-1) rebounded from a 71-69 defeat at Cincinnati last Wednesday by knocking off Notre Dame 82-70 on Saturday. Stanley Robinson scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds, while Jerome Dyson scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and finished with 10 assists.
UConn also got back on track defensively, blocking 11 shots after failing to record one against the Bearcats - the first time that happened to the Huskies in a game since 2001. They lead the nation with more than nine blocks a game.
“On the defensive end, we stepped it up and really played together,” Robinson said. “Our bench players played great.”
Junior center Charles Okwandu had 10 points and five rebounds, while fellow reserve Gavin Edwards scored 13 points for UConn.
“I thought we needed something to happen good for us,” coach Jim Calhoun said. “In this league, you don’t get too low, which I don’t think we did after Cincinnati. We didn’t play particularly well against Cincinnati, but we came back with a chance to win the game.”
Calhoun’s team played like the physical, deep team it is expected to be, and that probably isn’t good news for Seton Hall (9-4, 0-2). The Pirates dropped their third in a row and fourth in five games Saturday, 103-94 in overtime to Virginia Tech at the Governor’s Cup in Cancun, Mexico.
While that loss came to a Hokies team that’s 12-1, their other three defeats all were against teams currently in the Top 25 - Temple, West Virginia and Syracuse.
After losing in overtime to the Mountaineers and blowing a second-half lead against the Orange, Seton Hall rallied from a five-point deficit in the final 36 seconds of regulation against Virginia Tech. Robert Mitchell hit a 3-pointer and Eugene Harvey made a layup with 15 seconds left to force overtime, but the Hokies went on an 11-2 run to seal the win.
UConn, 9-0 at home this season, has won nine in a row against the Pirates by an average of 16.1 points. The Huskies have taken 16 of the last 17 meetings and lead the series 40-18.
UConn blocked 11 shots and limited Seton Hall to 31.2 percent shooting in the last matchup, a 62-54 road victory Feb. 14. Mitchell shot 4 of 19 for eight points, and Jeremy Hazell, who scored 24 points against Virginia Tech and is averaging a team-best 23.3, went 5 of 22 and finished with 14.
The Pirates have not beaten the Huskies at home since March 1, 1997, and have lost seven straight against ranked opponents.