Archive for March, 2011

Mac Cerullo interview with The Pulse

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

The Pulse Network contacted us and wanted to speak to me about UConn basketball and the team’s chances to win it all. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to know what I think, but for the three of you who do care, click this link and give it a look. All things considered I think I did a decent enough job.

03-31-11 Michael Cerullo Interview.

The road starts here

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

First of all, I just want to say that I love 2011. I’m on a Greyhound bus with Matt McDonough en route to Washington D.C. right now, and this bus has wifi, power outlets and everything. We’re even watching the Thunder vs. Heat game on ESPN3, on a bus. Amazing.

Anyway, tomorrow will mark the beginning of what will hopefully be a long trip to Houston. The UConn men’s basketball team opens their tournament with a matchup against 14-seeded Bucknell in the first round. For all intents and purposes, this is a game that the Huskies should win. After winning five games in five days to win the Big East, there’s no conceivable reason why UConn shouldn’t be able to take care of business.

But it’s called March Madness for a reason.

Recall the first round of the 2005 Tournament, when Bucknell, a 14-seed that year as well, upset Kansas. It’s still considered to be one of the biggest tournament upsets in history, and though the teams are different, you can never discount the possibility that it could happen again. Besides, UConn is no stranger to big upsets themselves, I hate to bring it up, but George Mason did happen too.

For full coverage of tomorrow’s game, grab the paper tomorrow and check out the tournament extra we’re running. Also, if you haven’t signed up for the Tourney Pick’em Challenge on Yahoo, you have until Noon tomorrow to do so.

Huskies complete successful road trip

By Ryan Tepperman, Staff Writer

The UConn baseball team rounded out its seven-game road trip through California by taking two of three games from San Diego. The wins pushed the Huskies over the .500 mark, as they now sit at 7-6 on the young season.

UConn won game one of the series last Thursday night by a score of 6-4. Bob Van Woert collected his first win of the season after surrendering just a run in 6.1 innings. The offense spread six runs and 13 hits throughout the contest, as six different Huskies drove a run home.

Senior Doug Elliot fell in Friday’s 3-2 pitcher’s duel that saw UConn squander an early 2-0 lead. The Huskies would rebound, however, in the final game of the road trip on the back of a complete-game shutout by Matt Barnes.

UConn finished the trip with a 5-2 record, including a win over then-No. 14 Cal. The Huskies will return to action tomorrow when they travel to face in-state foe Sacred Heart.

Connecticast: Kemba Walker – That just happened

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

I can’t even describe what I saw today. Kemba Walker’s buzzer beating shot absolutely blew the roof off the Garden, and capped off an instant classic that saw the Huskies come back from being down by as much as 12 points early.

I’ve had the good fortune of being at a lot of great sporting events, but this has to be near the top of the list. This was the first time in years that UConn has beaten Pittsburgh, and to do so in the Big East quarterfinals with Pitt being the No. 1 seed? Man…

I think most of you can tell that I’m really excited, and you’d be right. I am a little bummed out that I have to leave to attend to a prior commitment now, but to go out with that being the last memory? Guess I shouldn’t complain. In any case, Colin McDonough will be filling in for me, along with Matt, who’s been on the scene with me for each of the first three games.

Anyway, we’ve got a podcast for you all, along with the links to the last two day’s worth of stories. Shoutout to former DC Sports editor Kevin Duffy, who requested the Connecticast. Thanks for listening Duffy! Also a shoutout to WHUS’s Adam Giardino, who taught me how to actually embed the podcast in the blog post instead of doing it through a link.

Pittsburgh Stories:

“Kemba Skywalker” by Matt McDonough

“Walking off with the win” by Mac Cerullo

Georgetown Stories:

“Walker leads UConn past Georgetown” by Mac Cerullo

“Like the old days” by Matt McDonough

Wild wild west

By Dan Agabiti, Staff Writer

Half way into the baseball team’s western road trip, they are an impressive 3-1 and have outscored opponents 33-9.

It all started Saturday, when the Huskies defeated San Diego State 9-3. The game was tied going into the eighth inning, when UConn exploded for six runs, getting their road trip off to a good start.

Next on the dockett was No. 14 Cal and UConn held them to just one run in their 3-1 win. Junior Matt Barnes went 7.1 innings, striking out six and allowing only a single run en route to a win.

Monday night, the UConn bats came alive in a 17-0 decimation of San Diego. Three Huskies had four-hit performances including Doug Elliot, Mike Nemeth and George Springer. The highlight of the game was UConn’s seven-run seventh inning.

The Huskies finally lost their first game of the road trip Tuesday night against UC-Irvine. UConn gave up the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning and fell 5-4. After two innings, UConn was down 3-0 and tied the game at five in the eighth, but it was not enough to come away with a win.

Now at 5-5, the Huskies prepare to take on San Diego in a three-game series to close out their trip out west and then head to Bridgeport, Conn. to face Sacred Heart.

More spring break stories

Here are the new stories published on The Daily Campus website since the last batch.

Matt McDonough: The exorcism

Mac Cerullo: With dominating win, tensions eased

Colin McDonough: No luck for Irish

No. 1 UConn wins Big East tournament

By Colin McDonough, Senior Staff Writer

HARTFORD-An old mantra in sports is that it is very tough to beat the same team three times in one season, especially if the opponent is a conference rival. Try telling that to the Huskies.

The No. 1 UConn women’s basketball team beat No. 10 Notre Dame for the third time this season, and this win was in the Big East tournament championship game. The Huskies took down the Fighting Irish 73-64 at the XL Center in Hartford. UConn moved to 32-1 on the season and clinched their 17th conference tournament title and fourth straight.

Stefanie Dolson scored 24 points and although there were chants of “MVP” when Dolson was at the free throw line in the last minute, Maya Moore received tournament Most Outstanding Player honors. Moore scored 22 points and had five rebounds in the final.

Dolson, Moore and Bria Hartley took home hardware for All-Tournament team. The Huskies beat Georgetown, Rutgers and then Notre Dame on consecutive days to win the tournament.

Big East women’s basketball championship at the half

By Colin McDonough, Senior Staff Writer

HARTFORD- The No. 1 UConn women’s basketball team is in a dogfight in the Big East championship game against No. 10 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish had as big a lead as seven points during the first half but the Huskies took the lead before halftime and are holding on 32-31 at the break. Maya Moore and Stefanie Dolson each have ten points for UConn.

Skylar Diggins only has 2 points and has been held without a field goal thus far for the Irish. Natalie Novosel and Natiel Achonwa lead Notre Dame with eight points each.

The main concern for the Huskies will be Bria Hartley’s three first half fouls. The lack of depth hasn’t affected UConn so far but could in tonight’s second half.

It should be an exciting second half here at the XL Center in Hartford. The Huskies will try to win their fourth straight, and 17th overall tournament championship, while the Irish will go for its first ever Big East championship.

Spring Break stories

Sports Editor Mac Cerullo and Associate Sports Editor Matt McDonough will be filing from New York City at the men’s Big East tournament this week. Senior Staff Writer Colin McDonough will be at the women Big East championship in Hartford tomorrow night. Check dailycampus.com for stories pertaining to the Huskies in action over spring break. Since the newspaper is not in print this week, here are stories on UConn’s Senior Day loss to Notre Dame. Not that you’d necessarily want to revisit it.

Mac’s Game story:

No luck on senior day

Matt’s Notebook:

Rebounding woes reason for emotional senior day loss

Matt’s Column:

Hansbrough lacked class

Live from Senior Day – UConn vs. Notre Dame

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

Postgame:

Final Score: Notre Dame wins 70-67.

Disappointing doesn’t even begin to sum up this game. But here are some numbers that can.

Eight offensive rebounds, that’s right eight. UConn was getting to the rim, hitting shots, but they could not take advantage of the few times that the Irish did miss a shot, and it ultimately killed them. UConn is going to need to get more productivity out of their big men in the tournament next week. If Oriakhi and Okwandu are as ineffective as they were today, then I’m not sure if this team will even be able to make it out of the first round.

Given that UConn’s first round opponent will probably be either DePaul, South Florida or Rutgers, that’s a truely terrifying prospect.

Another stat: 9-0. That’s the run that Notre Dame went on after UConn took a 65-60 lead on the wake of their own 15-0 run. In that environment and with Hansbrough fouled out, you really can’t do anything but tip your hat to Notre Dame for regrouping and finding a way to win. That being said, UConn did not take advantage of the opportunities that they had to win, and that won’t fly in the postseason.

The Villanova and Marquette games are still on, so we won’t know who UConn’s first round opponent in the tournament will be for a little longer, but when we know more, we’ll be able to give a better opinion on what UConn faces and what they’ll need to do if they’re going to finish the season with more than a whimper.

Halftime:

We have an exciting game on our hands here. UConn finished the half strong, and went into the break with a 36-33 lead after playing catchup with Notre Dame for much of the half. Some highlights…

Notre Dame’s shooting: This team can hit their shots. The Irish shot 52% (12-23) from the field and made almost half of their three pointers (6-13). Ben Hansbrough is leading the way for the Irish, he has 11 points and has hit all three of his three-point attempts so far.

The 2-3 zone: Notre Dame switched to the dreaded 2-3 zone midway through the half and it’s worked well for them so far. UConn definitely saw their interior offense stagnate, but the Huskies have shot well enough to overcome it. Walker has 13 points for UConn, and the Huskies have gotten some contributions from Napier, Lamb and Oriakhi too. Defensively, UConn has done well despite Notre Dame’s shooting percentages.

Other facts: Notre Dame has turned the ball over six times. UConn’s bench is outscoring Notre Dame’s 14-5 (though Notre Dame has only used two players off their bench for a total of 14 minutes combined. The battle on the boards is a relatively even 14-13 favoring Notre Dame.

Second half starting now. Should be a close one throughout if this game continues anything like it started.

Pregame:

The UConn seniors were just honored a moment ago here at Gampel Pavilion. Donnell Beverly, Charles Okwandu and Kemba Walker each received a commemorative framed jersey and a rousing ovation from the crowd. When Kemba was announced, the student section began a “one more year” chant. Jordan Rich, the team’s head manager, was also honored in the ceremony.

Both teams have now taken the court and are warming up for tipoff, which is set to be in a couple of minutes. UConn comes into this one after losing a key road game at West Virginia. West Virginia is playing a tight game against Louisville right now, and the result of that game will play a major role in whether or not UConn receives a first round bye in the Big East tournament (should they win today.)

At 21-8, and 9-8 in the Big East, UConn is far from a bubble team, but given that the team has lost three of its last four games, the team could use a big win over a top 10 team going into the postseason. The last time UConn and Notre Dame played earlier this year, ND came out on top 73-70 in a game that UConn could have won.

More on this game to come.


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The site may look a little rough for a couple weeks while we get everything in order, particularly the banner image. We appreciate your patience while we work out the kinks. In the meantime, we'll do our best to make the blog worth reading. Thank you. ~Mac

UConn Men’s Basketball

West Region - No. 3 Seed, 30-9 (9-9)

Last Game: 65-63 W vs. (5) Arizona (March 26)

Next Game: vs. (4) Kentucky (April 2, 8:49 p.m., Reliant Stadium, Houston.)

1 - Enosch Wolf
2 - Donnell Beverly
3 - Jeremy Lamb
4 - Jamal Coombs-McDaniel
5 - Niels Giffey
10 - Tyler Olander
13 - Shabazz Napier
15 - Kemba Walker
21 - Kyle Bailey
22 - Roscoe Smith
23 - Benjamin Stewart
25 - Michael Bradley
34 - Alex Oriakhi
35 - Charles Okwandu

UConn Women’s Basketball

Philadelphia Region No. 1 Seed, 36-1 (16-0)

Last Game: 75-40 W vs. (2) Duke (March 29)

Next Game: vs. (2) Notre Dame (April 3, 9 p.m., Canseco Field House, Indianapolis, Ind.)

3 - Tiffany Hayes
5 - Caroline Doty
12 - Lauren Engeln
14 - Bria Hartley
23 - Maya Moore
25 - Michala Johnson
30 - Lorin Dixon
31 - Stefanie Dolson
32 - Heather Buck
34 - Kelly Faris

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