In a well-anticipated rematch of the 2011 National Championship Game, the Huskies defeated the Bulldogs 72-60. They did it without the offensive fire-power of star James Bouknight, who was sidelined due to a hyperextended elbow suffered in UConn’s last game against Marquette.
With Bouknight’s injury, the Huskies needed typical secondary-scorers to step up and carry the offensive load. Polley was able to continue his success from last game, although maybe in a less dramatic fashion. He netted 19 points on 5-8 from beyond the arc, though there weren’t too many clutch shots for him this game as UConn held the lead for the majority of the game. Tyrese Martin also showed out, as his 15 points and seven rebounds indicate how useful of a “Swiss Army Knife” guy he is for Dan Hurley.
Arguably the sweetest takeaway of this game for UConn fans is the return of 6’9 Sophomore Akok Akok, who’s intensity and shot-blocking will add to an already ferocious defense. He re-introduced himself to the college basketball world with a thunderous slam in the first half.
The Bulldogs derived the bulk of their offense from the trio of Bryce Golden, Aaron Thompson, and Bryce Nze, who each scored in double figures. Nze had himself a nice 18 points and six rebounds, while Thompson did a great job of finding his teammates with six assists to go along with his 14 points.
A young, rebuilding Butler squad found themselves on the wrong side of the outcome in this game, but there’s optimism in Indianapolis that LaVall Jordan and his staff are molding a winning team that fans have come to expect out of the program that plays at the production site of “Hoosiers”, the critically-acclaimed 1986 sports film (Hinkle Fieldhouse).
With their third consecutive conference win, the Huskies hope to be sniffing the AP Top 25 ranking in this upcoming week. But, the players and coaches alike won’t let that deter them from their daily grind.
Polley: "If we do become ranked on Monday, that would be great ... but we've got to keep truckin'."— David Borges (@DaveBorges) January 9, 2021
UConn (6-1) looks to continue their winning streak against DePaul in Chicago this coming Monday, while Butler (3-6) will be taking their talents to the “Big Apple” to square off against St. Johns in Carnesecca Arena on Tuesday.