A Big East Showdown is brewing Wednesday on FS1, as No. 19 UConn plays host to No. 13 Xavier in Storrs, Connecticut.
It’s been a tumultuous season for the Huskies, who opened the season 14-0 before hitting a rough patch that saw them dip to 5-5 in conference play. They’re led by Coach Dan Hurley, who is the team’s unapologetically emotional catalyst.
Meanwhile, Xavier (16-4, 8-1) has climbed to the top of the Big East behind Sean Miller, who is in his first year of a second tenure leading the Musketeers.
Here are the top plays!
Xavier at UConn
All Xavier early
The Musketeers came out of the gate breathing fire.
Adam Kunkel got Xavier started with a 3-pointer on its first possession, while Zach Freemantle scored four of his first nine points, including the below bucket in the post, forcing a UConn timeout. Xavier led 9-0 with 16 minutes remaining in the first half.
Xavier was feeling it from behind the arc in the early going. Connecting on four of its first five 3-point attempts, the Musketeers led 20-9 at the second TV timeout.
Climbing the ladder
Xavier guard Desmond Claude took matters into his own hands, forcing the issue off the dribble and dunking over a pair of UConn defenders.
Xavier Dominates first half
The Musketeers had their way on both ends of the floor in the first half. Xavier shot 50% from the field and 45.5% from behind the arc, while UConn shot just 32.3% from the field and 7.7% from behind the arc.
Xavier led 39-24 at halftime.
Souley Boum couldn’t miss coming out of the Halftime break, making a trio of 3-pointers before the first TV timeout of the second half.
Getting back into it
Xavier expanded its lead to 17 early in the second half, but UConn began to show some life shortly thereafter.
After the 3-ball began to fall for the Huskies, Adama Sanogo corralled a miss and muscled in an inside bucket, cutting the lead to eight and forcing a Xavier timeout with 13:46 remaining in the second half.
We got a game!
After getting within striking distance of Xavier, UConn continued to narrow the gap.
Shortly after Xavier’s timeout, UConn’s Jordan Hawkins drained a 3-pointer. Hawkins later made another long ball off a pass from Sanogo, cutting the lead to two and forcing another Xavier timeout.
UConn cut the lead to one, but Xavier got back into rhythm, going on a 10-0 run.
That run featured a pair of contested layups from Jerome Hunter and Claude, as shown below, and a 3-pointer from Colby Jones, putting the Musketeers up 11 and forcing a UConn timeout.
And UConn gets it all back
It has been a second half of runs, and UConn went on another one of its own.
A 7-0 Huskies run was capped off by Andre Jackson getting a Steal and slamming it down on the other end, getting the deficit back to one.
Stay tuned for updates!
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