There are few things more backbreaking than the infamous trap game.
It happens quite frequently in the realm of sports. Focus, motivation and passion aren’t quite there in these types of contests, as many teams focus more on the past and future than the present.
With Monday’s buzzer-beater win over Florida in the rearview mirror, and next week’s matchup with Stanford looming, the UConn Huskies had every excuse not to focus on Maine. It's finals week in Storrs, the holidays are rapidly approaching and a lengthy layoff is right around the corner before their next contest.
However, the Huskies were able to avoid the almighty trap, as the No. 12 team in the country was able to dismantle the overmatched Black Bears by a score of 95-68.
Defeating Maine is far from impressive, as the Black Bears have limped out to a 1-7 start, including a pair of losses to NJIT, which is less than a perennial powerhouse.
However, the Huskies were able to display an inspiring amount of balance and depth.
The Huskies made their matchup with Maine look like their own personal game of HORSE, as UConn shot 53 percent, including a staggering 14 buckets from 3-point range.
“I’ve noticed that a lot of us go back to the gym at night,” said Ryan Boatright, who finished the game with 17 points. “Last year, there were only a few of us that were taking initiative to go in and working on our game. Now, it’s hard to even get a rim in there because everybody’s in the gym shooting. I think that has a lot to do with us shooting so well this year.”
However, despite the lopsided score line, there was no true standout for the Huskies, as four players scored in double figures, while all 12 scholarship players were able to get their names on the score sheet.
Leading the way was DeAndre Daniels, who proved to be ruthlessly efficient all night, shooting 6-of-6 from the field including three from behind the arc.
Despite his near flawless performance, Daniels was quick to point out that he isn’t even the best shooter on the court for the Huskies at any given point.
“Niels Giffey (is the best shooter on the team),” said the junior forward. “It’s either him or Shabazz Napier. It’s one of those two.
“When teams try and stop Ryan and Shabazz, they’ve got to worry about Omar, they’ve got to worry about Niels, they’ve got to worry about me,” added Daniels. “We’ve got a lot of weapons. Those guys I just named, they can do everything…everybody is capable of scoring.”
UConn also received major contributions from Omar Calhoun and Niels Giffey, who scored 16 and 12, respectively.
UConn has come sprinting out of the gates, as the Huskies are off to a 9-0 start. The Huskies will look to continue their winning ways on Dec. 18 when they host Stanford at the XL Center.
How long will the Huskies remain undefeated? Leave a comment below or tweet @R_Tolmich with your viewpoint!
*All quotes obtained firsthand*