Thursday, July 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Game 38: Connecticut 92, Texas A&M 66

The NCAA Tournament's visit to Philadelphia ends with a blowout.

Game 38: Connecticut 92, Texas A&M 66

It was, as harry sig aka the mack daddy commented on the previous post, "remarkably uneventful." Six games in two days, and only the middle two of them were all that entertaining.

Even if you're a supposedly objective journalist, you come to an NCAA Tournament venue instead of staying on the couch because you want to say you were there when it happened. The closest we came to getting it at the Wachovia Center was at the end of VCU-UCLA, and maybe it hung around in the air for the first half of American-Villanova.

But other than that, we missed out. It decided to go to Boise, Minneapolis and above all Dayton instead of coming here.

Still, there are no regrets. You come here because you know you want to be here, even if you gamble and lose. At least you lose a lot less watching basketball than you do the blackjack dealer.

For the record, Connecticut and Villanova were the big winners. No one really expected anything else, not from two Big East powers at a Big East venue. Especially not at this Big East venue, where the Wildcats literally played on their own floor.

And this time, despite having fewer tickets available than usual, the Wildcats' fans made some real noise. The second half on Thursday night was the loudest I've ever heard this building for a Villanova game, and it was against a Patriot League team instead of Syracuse or Georgetown.

Connecticut's fans traveled well too. They were rewarded with wins by 56 points today and 26 points yesterday, which is better than what Pittsburgh and Louisville have done so far. Today's game was also a decent measure of how well the Huskies can play in March without Jerome Dyson.

UConn shot 33-for-57 from the field (57.9%), including 5-for-10 from three-point range (50.0%) and 28-for-47 from two-point range (59.6%), and 21-for-27 from the free throw line (77.8%). Twelve offensive rebounds, 27 defensive rebounds, 20 assists, nine turnovers, five blocks, three steals and 16 fouls committed.

That adds up to 65 possessions and 1.408 points, which is pretty darn good.

Texas A&M shot 26-for-63 from the field (41.3%), including 3-for-15 from three-point range (20.0%) and 23-for-48 from two-point range (47.9%), and 11-for-17 from the free throw line (64.7%). Twelve offensive rebounds, 16 defensive rebounds, 17 assists, seven turnovers, three blocks, three steals and 22 fouls committed. One of those was a technial assessed to Aggies coach Mark Turgeon with 9:58 left in the first half.

Interesting that both teams got the same number of offensive rebounds, but UConn got a much higher percentage of the boards at its own floor. Interesting too that Hasheem Thabeet was held to only six points and four rebounds.

But Jeff Adrien and A.J. Price stepped up bigg, scoring 23 and 27 respectively. Price takes line of the game honors, as you'll see below.

And so another year of liveblogging adventures comes to an end. Thirty-eight games is far fewer than I hoped I'd get to coming into the season, but when you're paid to be at the office five nights a week, you do the work you're supposed to do first. Especially in this economy.

Having said that, off the top of my head there are only two or three games I missed all year that I really wanted to be at. So I'm fine with how things turned out.

I'll keep writing through the end of the NCAA Tournament, of course, but from here on out everything will be from the desk. Part of that will certainly be Villanova's game against either Duke or Texas on Tuesday, and it should be a good one no matter who the opponent is.

Enjoy the rest of tonight and tomorrow. Here's hoping we get a few more "ONIONS!" calls before we're done.

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
A.J. Price
33
8-16
7-9
4-7
0
5
5
8
0
2
0
3
28
27

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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