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Men's Basketball

I am not one for goodbyes.

I find it antithetical to the role of a journalist who should be neither seen nor heard. I've always attempted to stay out of the story at all costs and provide balance and perspective. I've failed at that at times, but that's the business.

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One year after drafting former UConn star Shabazz Napier to pair with LeBron James, the Heat are set to send him off for a second round pick.

Citing sources, ESPN is reporting that the Heat are sending Napier, who won two national titles at UConn, to the Magic for a future second round pick.

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UConn coach Kevin Ollie is far from the only former player of coach Jim Calhoun to gain a head coaching job.

The latest is Ollie's teammate -- Scott Burrell -- who was named the head coach at Division II Southern Connecticut State University.

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UConn picked up a major piece to the Class of 2016 with Miller Grove, Georgia point guard Alterique Gilbert giving his commitment to play for the Huskies.

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Three UConn players in Daniel Hamilton, Amida Brimah and highly-touted newcomer Jalen Adams are hitting the camp circuit this summer.

Hamilton, a sophomore, was invited to participate in the inaugural Nike Basketball Academy held from June 26-29 in Santa Monica, Calif. Brimah and Adams are also set to be a part of the sixth adidas Nations camp held July 30-Aug. 3 in Long Beach.

Here are the particulars of each camp.

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UConn is headed back to MSG.

The Huskies, who last played in MSG in the Elite 8 in 2014 against Michigan State, did not play in New York City for the first time in 30 years last year. That will chance as the Huskies will play Maryland at MSG on Dec. 8 in the Jimmy V Classic.

That's just part of UConn's non-conference schedule, which was released by the school on Tuesday.

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UConn announced the transfers of Sterling Gibbs, Shonn Miller and Terry Larrier on Monday might.

The trio are enrolled at school after transferring in from Seton Hall, Cornell and VCU.

"We are excited to welcome the new student-athletes to our UConn family," Ollie said. "Along with being high quality players, they are young men of high character who also bring a level of maturity and experience with them. We are looking forward to having them with us as we head into the upcoming season."

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Terry Larrier, a transfer from VCU, has committed to transfer to UConn after one year.

UConn coach Kevin Ollie continues to bring in impact players on the transfer route. This one, however, will have to wait a year.

VCU transfer Terry Larrier has committed to play for UConn and coach Kevin Ollie per scout.com's Evan Daniels.?

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UConn had 13 of its sports teams that gained a perfect Academic Progress Rating for the 2013-14 academic calendar including men's basketball.

The NCAA released single-year scores and four-year multi-year scores.

The men's basketball team -- once banned for a low APR -- had its second straight perfect 1,000 and has a multi-year mark of 983.

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UConn is a power school without a power home.

The Huskies have won national championships in men's and women's basketball in the last two years, are upgrading hockey to Hockey East and generally are considered on the on deck circle of Power 5 status.

But what does that mean?

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UConn head coach Kevin Ollie can recruit high schoolers too.

Mamadou Diarra, a 6-foot-8 forward who played for Putnam Science Academy in Woodstock, Conn. , announced at a press conference on Friday morning that he will attend UConn in 2016.

Diarra chose between UConn and VCU. He is from Queens and visited UConn in April. He had graduated from Putnam Science, which will close at the end of the school year, and will play as a postgrad at Woodstock Academy next year.

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r17ohDGCDyw&w=560&h=315]

UConn got a lot better in the backcourt on Saturday as Seton Hall fifth-year transfer Sterling Gibbs committed to the Huskies, giving them a big-time scoring duo of veterans coming from other schools.

Gibbs committed to UConn on Saturday via Twitter, after denying he he had several times earlier in the day.

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https://twitter.com/marchmadness/status/599270584766308352

The NCAA, after a season that saw scoring and efficiency plummet to record low levels, is making changes in college basketball.?

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UConn guard Ryan Boatright will try to prove he belongs in the NBA this week at the combine in Chicago. (Credit: US Presswire)

Former UConn guard Ryan Boatright has been on the NBA radar for years, at least going back to when he committed to USC as an eighth grader.

Boatright managed to stay four years at UConn and this week in Chicago is participating in the pre-draft camp.

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UConn guard Terrence Samuel has been granted a release from the team and will transfer from Storrs at the end of the Semester.

Terrence Samuel, left, will transfer from UConn this month.

Samuel played in 65 games for UConn and started eight an averaged 3.0 points per game.

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UConn's Kevin Ollie has pulled himself out of consideration for the Oklahoma City Thunder job in the NBA per CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein.

The Thunder fired head coach Scott Brooks on Wednesday and despite a statement that he had "no plans to pursue other offers", Ollie's name continued to be mentioned as a leading candidate for the Thunder job.

Ollie just completed his third year as head coach at UConn and has a $5 million buyout that drops to $4 million on June 1. Ollie's buyout for an NBA team decreases to $1 million in June of 2016.

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UConn men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie released on a statement this morning in response to speculation that the Oklahoma City Thunder will pursue him as head coach if they fire current coach Scott Brooks.

Ollie, 42, signed a contract extension at UConn last year after winning the national title in his second year.

?As I have said many times, I am proud and honored to be the head basketball coach at the University of Connecticut and I have no plans to pursue other opportunities.?We are already excited about next season and I am looking forward to preparing our team to be the best we can be on the court, in the classroom, and in our community.?
Despite that statement, rumors continued to swirl about Ollie's?coaching status.

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UConn need some help inside for the 2015-16 season and Kevin Ollie got it on Saturday with the committment of Cornell fifth-year transfer Shonn Miller (Rothstein, April 18).

Miller, who wil graduate from Cornell, is eligible immediately per the graduate transfer rule and the Huskies will add a 6-foot-7 forward who averaged 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds last season.

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The Oklahoma City Thunder may fire their head coach, according to reports. If they do, UConn head coach Kevin Ollie would be a candidate for the position, according to Yahoo Sports (April 16).

"Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie would be a candidate for the Thunder's coaching job if it opens, league sources told Yahoo Sports," reporter Adrian Wojnarowski wrote.

"Ollie was a teammate with [Kevin] Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City and he's an individual whom [GM Sam] Presti holds in high esteem."

Tags: Kevin Ollie, Men's Basketball, UCONN, Andrew Vazzano
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Connecticut Gov.?Dannel P. Malloy has instituted a travel ban for state employees to Indiana in response to Indiana's religious freedom law. ?

That ban will be followed by UConn men's basketball coaches.

UConn and its coaches will not attend the Final Four in Indianapolis this week, or the subsequent coaches convention, to protest the law signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

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UConn officially announced that forward Rakim Lubin will transfer from the program at the end of the semester.

Lubin's mother announced the news on twitter on Monday.

Lubin appeared in 24 games with the 2014-15 Huskies, averaging 1.0 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.

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UConn PF Rakim Lubin is apparently transferring from UConn after one year.?

His mother posted the news on Twitter. UConn has not confirmed his leaving:

https://twitter.com/Basketballmom18/status/582634658711486464

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UConn recruit Steven Enoch, a Norwalk native who prepped this season at St. Thomas Moore in Oakdale, Connecticut was named CT Gatorade State Player of the Year.

The 6-10, 235-pound forward averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds for 29-9 St. Thomas. He's the No. 1 ranked recruit in Connecticut and will bolster the front-court next season.

Here's St, Thomas Moore coach Jerre Quinn, to USA Today, on Enoch:

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Ryan Boatright said he didn't come back to play in the NIT.

He kept true to his word this year, though not the way he wanted.

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UConn's leading scorer in senior Ryan Boatright will sit out Wednesday's NIT first round game against Arizona State as he recovers from a left shoulder strain.

Boatright injured the shoulder in the championship game on Sunday against SMU when he took a shot on a moving screen. Boatright left the game and was in pain while he was on the bench. Boatright returned against SMU, but never got going late in the second half as he finished 1 of 12 for seven points.

In good news, UConn's Kentan Facey, who missed the four games of the AAC tournament with a concussion, is cleared to play tonight. Terrence Samuel will get the start at point guard for the Huskies.

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Ryan Boatright summed up the thoughts of just about anyone who watches UConn basketball when asked about this season.

Boatright, in a moment of truth, said he didn't "come back to play in the NIT."

The Huskies, thanks to Sunday's loss to SMU find themselves tonight playing in the NIT against Arizona State.

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No. 4 seed UConn will host No. 5 Arizona State on Wednesday in the first round of the NIT.

The Huskies will play the game in Gampel Pavilion at 7 p.m. The Huskies last appeared in the NIT during the 2009-10 season. The season after, the Huskies led by Kemba Walker won a national championship.

The Huskies won the 1988 NIT championship.

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Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright (11) reacts after a call as they take on the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the second half during the final round of the American Conference Tournament at XL Center. SMU defeated Connecticut 62-54. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports at XL Center.

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Ryan Boatright walked off the court with 45?seconds remaining.

It was quite likely the worst game of his career in the American Athletic Conference final against SMU.

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UConn's Ryan Boatright shoots the game-winner against Cincinnati on Friday night. Credit:USA Today: Dave Butler II.

HARTFORD, Conn. -- There were two players in the American Athletic Conference who were unanimous selections to the All-Conference team -- UConn's Ryan Boatright and SMU's Nic Moore.??

Moore won the award beating out Boatright, who is the conferences leading scorer and largely its most valuable player.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (44) shoots the ball over Tulsa Golden Hurricane forward Brandon Swannegan (44) in the second half during the semifinal round of the American Conference Tournament at XL Center. The Huskies won 47-42. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The last gasp of the current NCAA national champions looked to be exhaled on Saturday at the XL Center.

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Recap: UConn rallied from nine points down in the final eight minutes to stun No. 2 Tulsa 47-42 at the XL Center. UConn will play No. 1 seed SMU for the American title on Sunday afternoon.

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Need to Know: Rodney Purvis' jumper from the corner with 46 seconds left gave UConn the lead and Ryan Boatright was 4 of 4 down the stretch as UConn survived a horrendous shooting performance to keep its NCAA dreams alive. UConn shot 36-4 percent of the game and needed to hit its last five shots to knock off Tulsa. Boatright scored 21 points while Purvis added 11. UConn held Tulsa to 29.6 percent shooting and survived getting crushed on the glass 40-28. UConn now will face SMU on Sunday and can get that automatic bid to the NCAAs.

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UConn is halfway home at the American Athletic Conference and will play No. 2 seed Tulsa in the second semifinal on Saturday in Hartford.? SMU and Temple play in the first semifinal.

UConn has split two games with Tulsa, getting blown out in Oklahoma and then destroying Tulsa 70-45 in Hartford.

Tonight's game figures to be a much more difficult test. Tulsa is 22-9 overall and in dire need of maybe one more win to rest easy for an NCAA tourney berth. The Golden Hurricanes are a defensive oriented team allowing only 60.2 points per game and have two of the better players in the league in James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison. Woodard is averaging 14.8 ppg. and Harrison is a shade over 13.

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UConn's Ryan Boatright celebrates after hitting the winning shot against Cincinnati on Friday night.

HARTFORD, Conn. --Ryan Boatright just missed a free throw that could have clinched the game and saw Cincinnati go down and tie the score in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals

The Huskies need to run the table to get into the NCAAs and Boatright was about to be the goat. Boatright couldn't believe he missed the free throw. After Cincinnati tied the score with 13.4 seconds left, he went back to the bench and thought to himself something simple.

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Recap: UConn advanced to the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament thanks to a Ryan Boatright lead with 0.2 seconds left to beat Cincinnati 57-54 at the XL Center.

Need to Know: Ryan Boatright did his Kemba Walker/Shabazz Napier impression making up for a missed 1-and-1 seconds early as UConn advanced over Cincinnati. It was Boatright's 18th point as the Huskies move to the semifinals to face Tulsa and are halfway home to an NCAA berth. UConn survived 32-16 deficit in the paint, 37-27 disadvantage on the board, and did it with 3-point shooting, 8 of 17 in the second half. The Huskies nearly led a 5-point lead squander in the final minute with 13 seconds left on a tip-in after Boatright missed a free-throw. Boatright calmly dribbled up the court and took a screen pass from Daniel Hamilton and had an open look. Rodney Purvis added 17 for the Huskies and Daniel Hamilton nine points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Links: Box score | Recap

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UConn will play No. 3 seed Cincinnati today in the quarterfinal of the American tonight at the XL Center.

SMU advanced with a 74-68 win against East Carolina while Temple escaped in the afternoon session over Memphis. The Cincinnati/UConn winner will play the Houston/Tulsa winner on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals.

Thursday night was easy for UConn. A 26-point win, 11 3-pointers and a somewhat easy game against South Florida.

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HARTFORD, Conn. -- Daniel Hamilton took the first shot of the game from the top of the key.

The UConn freshman, named Rookie of the Year earlier in the day, watched the shot calmly go through the net.

it?s the exact start to the postseason that the Huskies needed and the exact type of play that the Huskies want.

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Recap: UConn rolled over USF in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday night at the XL Center in Hartford 69-43.

Need to Know:? UConn got the job done, jumping out to a 25-5 lead, holding UDF to 5 of 21 shooting in the first half and advancing. It wasn't a vintage game for the Huskies by any means, as concentration lagged at times, but with four games in four games the task, UConn expended the energy it needed to. Daniel Hamilton led the way with 20 points while Rodney Purvis added13 points and Ryan Boatright 12. Phil Nolan gave a big lift off the bench with seven rebounds.? UConn will now head to the quarterfinals to play Cincinnati on Friday night. Cincinnati had a bye on Thursday as the No. 3 seed.? The Huskies were 11 of 17 from 3-point range. Omar Calhoun also chipped in with a nice game with nine points. USF shot 31.3 percent from the floor.

Links: Box score | Recap

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By JOHN F. SILVER

HARTFORD, Conn. -- UConn sophomore forward Kentan Facey will not dress for the American Athletic Conference quarterfinal tonight against USF due to a concussion suffered in practice.

Facey has started 20 games for the Huskies and has struggled as of late. He is averaging 4.5 points per game and 5.3 rebounds. He played a season-low six minutes in a loss to Temple last week.

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UConn freshman Daniel?Hamilton was named American Rookie of the Year on Thursday during the league's awards luncheon.

UConn's Daniel Hamilton was named Rookie of the YEar of the American on Thursday.

SMU's Nic Moore, lead guard on the No. 1 Mustangs, beat out UConn's Ryan Boatright for Player of the Year. Temple's Fran Dunphy was named Coach of the Year while UCOnn's walk-on turned scholarship athlete Pat Lenehan was named Scholar Athlete of the Year.

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Rodney Purvis and the Huskies will play in the American on Thursday night at the XL Center.

STORRS, Conn. -- There are two ways to look at the American Athletic Conference tournament.

Depending on your mood, station in life and general optimism/pessimism quotient, the Huskies have no chance at all or an excellent chance.

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UConn's Amida Brimah has been named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Brimah, a sophomore, has 101 blocks this season -- averaging 3.4 a game.

Brimah, the latest in a long line of standout centers for UConn, led the American Athletic Conference in total blocks as a sophomore and was second in the league in blocks per game (3.4). He averaged a league-leading 4.0 blocks per game in conference play and was the anchor of a UConn squad that held opponents to 39.7-percent field goal shooting. Brimah, who was an honorable mention all-conference selection, started all 30 games for the Huskies, averaging 10.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

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UConn guard Ryan Boatright hopes to get some help in the American Athletic Conference tournament this week. UConn needs to win four games in four days to gain an NCAA berth.

It's not the kind of way a team wants to go into the conference tournament.

UConn (17-13) ?lost its last two games of the regular season, both frustrating losses to Memphis and Temple.

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Recap: Temple (22-9, 13-5) rallied in the second half to stifle UConn to win 75-63 on Saturday.

Need to Know: UConn(17-13, 10-8) lost its second straight to end the regular season and is now locked into the sixth seed in the American Athletic Conference. The Huskies will play the No. 11 seed either Houston or USF, in Hartford on Thursday night. To reach the NCAAs, the Huskies will have to win four straight at home in the tournament. The Huskies led 37-32 at the half, but was outscored 43-26 in the second half. UConn went the first eight minutes of the second half without a basket. Ryan Boatright had 25 points -- 21 in first half -- and Rodney Purvis added 28. The rest of the Huskies shot 6 of 20 for 20 points. Will Cummings had 23 for Temple.

Links: Box score

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STORRS, Conn. -- UConn only has itself to blame.

Three times this season UConn has had the lead in the final 10 seconds against an opponent at Gampel Pavilion. Three times the opposing team has scored.

The University of Connecticut Huskies are now going to need to win the American Athletic Conference tournament next win to earn an NCAA bid.

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Recap: Memphis (18-12, 10-7) beat UConn (17-12, 10-7) for the second straight time this season as it moved into a fifth place tie with the Huskies in the American with a 54-53 win at Gampel Pavilion.

Need to Know: Shaq Goodwin's floater with eight seconds left gave the Tigers the lead and Ryan Boatright's off balance floater didn't have a chance as Memphis shocked UConn. Memphis and UConn are now tied at 10-7 in conference and in fifth place in the league. The Tigers hold the tie-breaker and can clinch a first round bye in the AAC tourney with a win on Saturday.? UConn has only itself to blame. The Huskies shot 15 of 54, 27.8 percent in the game and only was in it thanks to a 22-2 edge in three throws. Boatright had 14 points on 4 of 13 shooting and Daniel Hamilton led the Huskies with 16 on 5 of 16 shooting. The rest? Not good. Rodney Purvis followed up his career-high with an 0 for 7 game for three points. Omar Calhoun was 1 of 4 and Terrence Samuel 1 of 5. Trashon Burrell led Memphis with 22 points.

Links: Box Score | Recap

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UConn will take on Memphis on in its regular season home finale at Gampel Pavilion tonight at 9 p.m.The game will be televised on ESPN2.

It's Senior Night for Ryan Boatright.

Don't expect the 5-11 senior from Aurora, Illinois to get emotional about it. The flowers, framed jersey and standing ovation are nice. The national title ring last year is also nice.

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HARTFORD, Conn. -- It was an innocuous quote from the affable Kevin Ollie came?at the end of an interview session around this time last year.?

How does Rodney Purvis look?

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Recap: UConn picked up its biggest win of the season beating No. 21 SMU 81-73 on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center in Hartford.

[gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="15400,15401,15402"]

Need to Know: Rodney Purvis exploded for a career-high 28 points as he was the best player on the floor for the Huskies. Purvis and Daniel Hamilton scored all the points during a crucial second half run that turned a SMU 53-51 lead to a 66-57 lead thanks to a 15-4 run with 4:14 left. Hamilton, who was having a below average of game until the last 10 minutes, finished with 16 points, 14 in the second half. Ryan Boatright had another stellar game in matchup of AAC player of the year candidates with 23 points on 11 shots. The Huskies made life difficult for SMU's Nic Moore, who had 9 points on 3-of-13 shooting. The Huskies, 17-11, 10-6 in conference, beat SMU after getting blow out less than a month ago by this same Mustangs team in Dallas. SMU (23-5, 14-3) had its five-game winning streak snapped with the loss. The Huskies end the season with Memphis on Thursday and at Temple on Saturday.

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UConn faces SMU today at the XL Center at 2 p.m.

UConn will take on first place Southern Methodist University at 2?p.m. on CBS.

The week of reckoning is at hand for the UConn men's basketball team.

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Recap: UConn rallied from nine points down at the half to knockoff ECU 60-49 on Wednesday night in Greenville, North Carolina.

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Need to Know: UConn was down 33-24 at the half, before dominating the final 20 minutes with a 36-16 run to win its 16th game of the year. It was the 17th deficit in 29 games at the half for the Huskies. UConn is 6-11 when trailing at the half. The Pirates shot only 19.4 percent -- 6-of-31 -- in the second half. Ryan Boatright led the Huskies with 16 points, while Daniel Hamilton had nine points, 17 rebounds and five assists. The Huskies held ECU to 32.2 percent shooting overall overcoming offensive problems of their own. The game remains critical for the Huskies' NCAA hopes. There's still an outside shot an at-large bid, and the Huskies would like a first round bye in the American Athletic Conference tournament, which it needs by being top five in conference. The Huskies are 16-11, 9-5 in conference. ?Amida Brimah and Rodney Purvis each chipped in with 12 points. ?Marshall Guilmette led ECU with 13 points.

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