Huskies Having a Ruff Season

Monday, November 28, 2016 (Issue #3)
by Octavias Mckoy, Sports Writer

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It has been a tumultuous season for the University of Connecticut Huskies football team. What started off as promise in the spring has evolved into a living nightmare for Husky Nation. The current season has showcased its fair share of ups and downs.

For starters the Huskies hold a (3-7) overall record. Eliminating them for any bowl game consideration. They are currently sixth in the American Athletic Conference standings with a 1-6 East Division record.

This past weekend, the Huskies had a well needed bye week; in order to stop the bleeding while they currently ride a four game losing streak. For the season, the Husky offense is only scoring 16.5 points per game while allowing opponents to tally up on average 26.9 points per game. An old coach of mine used to say, “If you can’t score, you can’t win!” and the UConn Huskies aren’t outscoring opponents, so the negative results are inevitable.

Despite not being able to put points on the board, the Husky offense is moving the ball, on average, 341.1 yards per game on offense. UConn has a 78% success rate in the red zone, but only 37% of these successes resulted in touchdowns meaning they’re settling for field goals. Field goals will not win games at the college level. UConn has to do a better job punching it in for six when they’re inside the 20-yard line. On a positive note, the Huskies are perfect on point after attempts (PAT), going 18 for 18.

“An old coach of mine used to say, “If you can’t score, you can’t win!” and the UConn Huskies aren’t outscoring opponents…”

One thing that sticks out about the Husky football team is that they have only scored a total of nine points in the first quarter this season. That’s a horrifying statistic when you take into consideration that they’ve played a total of 10 games thus far this season. The Huskies need to have a better effort early in games in order to turn this season around.

Arkeel Newsome and Noel Thomas account for 2,262 of the Huskies all-purpose yardage with Newsome averaging 113.2 YPG and Thomas averaging an even 113.0 YPG. On defense Obi Melifonwe leads the Husky defense with 83 total tackles for the season.

“What started off as promise in the spring, has evolved into a living nightmare for Husky Nation.”

All UConn can do with the remainder of this year is build towards the future. They look to get back on track and end their four game losing strike when they take on Boston College this Saturday 11/19 at 1: 00 p.m. EST in Massachusetts.

Pirates Sink Huskies

Monday, November 28, 2016 (Issue #3)
by Octavias Mckoy, Sports Writer

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The UConn Huskies (3-6) may have suffered their worst loss of the season this past Saturday. The East Carolina Pirates (3-5) looked like the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Huskie defense, as what started off with preseason promise has now turned to midseason blues for UConn.

The Huskies have now suffered their third consecutive loss of the season bring that total to six for the year. It was all East Carolina from the start, as they jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and did not look back, cruising to an easy 41-4 thumping of the Huskies in front of 41,000 fans at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. UConn struggled early and often piling up only 295 yards of offense. Third downs are a critical down in football, and the Huskies were 5-15 on 3rd downs (33%) for the game.

Struggles continued for Huskies quarterback Bryant Shirreffs, completing 16-30 passes for 180 yards and two interceptions; bringing his total to six on the season to just seven touchdown passes. Noel Thomas snagged seven receptions for 135 yards. Arkeel Newsome finished the game with 15 yards rushing on 10 carries with 5 receptions for 46 yards and 5 returns for 128 yards bringing his all-purpose totals to 189 yards for the day. Three players on the UConn defense finished with 10 tackles a piece; Obi Melifonwu, Mikal Myers and Foley Fatukasi.

UConn looks to get things going in the right direction when they take on The Temple Owls this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. EST at Rentschler Field

Whale Defeat Riveters For First Win

Monday, November 7, 2016 (Issue #2)
by Ian Boisvert, Managing Editor

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The Connecticut Whale of the National Women’s Hockey League earned its first win of the season on Oct. 16 when it defeated the New York Riveters by a score of 4-2.

The Whale, coming off a 5-4 loss to the Buffalo Beauts, continued its season opening road trip at the Barnabas Health Hockey Center in Newark, N.J.

The tightly contested game saw the Riveters strike first, as New York’s Madison Packer blocked a Shannon Doyle Slap shot from just inside the blueline and her team escaped on a rush. Ashley Johnson scooped up the puck and fed Miye D’Oench , who saw her first shot stopped by the Whale’s Nicole Stock before knocking in the rebound at 7:36 of the first period.

New York’s lead did not last long, as the Whale managed to tie the game before the end of the first frame. After a faceoff win in the Riveters’s zone, a Jordan Bricker pass made its way to the goal line, where the Whale’s Nicole Kosta tipped the puck over the Riveter’s goaltender to be knocked in by Nicole Connery. Less than three minutes later, the Whale took the lead on Kosta’s second point of the game. Kosta found a rebound in the slot, and scored while falling to the ice.

The wild first period continued as the Riveters tied up the game before the end of the frame. Rebecca Russo took the puck down the right wing and fed Courtney Burke who spun around in the slot and beat the Whale’s Stock on her low stick side to even the score.

The second period started with the same frantic pace, as the Whale scored after just 58 seconds. Molly Engstrom’s even strength tally gave the Whale a quick lead, and it was the last marker it would need. Engstom’s game winning goal was ensured by Kelly Babstock’s goal late in the second period, and Connecticut went on to capture its first win of the season by a score of 4-2.

Stock was solid in net for the Whale, stopping 33 of 35 shots for a .943 save percentage. Eight different Whale players found the score sheet at least once, and four Connecticut players registered two points. While she did not score any points, Cydney Roesler had a nose for the net, registering a game high ten shots on goal. Packer of the Riveters was second in the game with six attempts at the Connecticut net.

The Connecticut Whale has yet to play its first home game of the season. The Northford Ice Pavillion, located in Northford, Conn. will kick off the season for its NWHL team on Dec. 10 when the Whale hosts the Buffalo Beauts. For ticket information, visit nwhl.zone or visit the Northford Ice Pavillion.

Huskies Fall Short to Bulls

Monday, November 7, 2016 (Issue #2)
by Octavias McKoy, Sports Writer

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The UConn Huskies football team dropped to 3-4 overall, 1-3 in the American Athletic Conference with a loss to the University of South Florida Bulls 27-42 on Saturday in Tampa, Fla.

With the win, the Bulls improve to a perfect 6-0 on the season. The Huskies continue to struggle on defense, allowing the Bulls to rack up 529 yards of total offense, despite forcing two turnovers.

Lessons are learned through losses in this sport, and with the loss, UConn for the first time all year capitalized off of their opponent’s mistakes, accounting for 14 points off of Bulls’ turnovers.

On another positive note, the Huskies managed to control the time of possession on offense, but it unfortunately did not lead to any points for UConn. UConn was forced to punt nine times, netting a total of 361 yards. The Huskies offense also struggled to keep pace with the explosive Bulls offense, gaining only 378 total yards of offense.

Junior signal caller Bryant Shirreffe, of Jefferson, Ga., completed 22 out of 39 passes for 306 yards and tossed two touchdowns. Sophomore runningback, Arkeel Newsome of Ansonia, Conn., finished the day with a leading 226 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver, Noel Thomas of Norwalk, Conn., finished the day with 12 receptions for 127 yards. Junior linebackers Junior Joseph of Sinking Spring, Pa. and Vontae Diggs of Downers Grove, Ill. finished the day with a team leading nine tackles each. The Huskies look to get back on track as they prepare to face off against the University of Central Florida this Saturday Oct. 22, 2016 for their Homecoming game at 12 p.m. in Hartford, Conn.

The Clock Strikes Midnight: Uconn Basketball Season Kickoff

Monday, November 7, 2016 (Issue #2)
by Steven Wasserman, Sports Editor

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The annual First Night event signals the start of the basketball season for both the men and women of the basketball programs at the University of Connecticut. Friday, Oct. 14 was filled with several fun events as the players and coaches of the basketball teams are set to kick off their seasons on the journey to a hopeful NCAA Championship in April.

In front of a near-full capacity crowd at Gampel Pavilion, the players took part in several events as they dazzled the crowd all night long. A photo opportunity session for the fans, performance by the UConn drum line, crowd giveaways and contests, along with the main event, a scrimmage between Team Kevin and Team Geno highlighted this occasion.

The scrimmage between Team Kevin, coached by men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie, and Team Geno, coached by women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, was a unique experience for both the players and fans alike. The game allowed the UConn men and women to play with each other as all the players were evenly spread out between the two teams.

Team Geno defeated Team Kevin by a score of 51-45 in a 20-minute scrimmage. Leading the men in scoring were freshman guard Christian Vital with nine points, senior forward Kentan Facey with eight points, and sophomore forward Steven Enoch with eight points as well.

The women in this game weren’t too shabby themselves with junior guard Gabby Williams chipping in with seven points and junior guard Azura Stevens tallying six points and three rebounds to her credit. Both teams seem to be having promising starts to their seasons in this scrimmage.

“The scrimmage between Team Kevin, coached by men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie, and Team Geno, coached by women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, was a unique experience for both the players and fans alike.”

The men’s team opens their season on Sunday, Oct. 30 at the XL Center with an exhibition game against the University of New Haven. The women kick off their season against Indiana University with an exhibition of their own at Gampel Pavilion.

UConn Bounces Back Against Houston

conn-15-husky
The logo of the UConn Huskies.
(Image courtesy of the Uconn Huskies.)

Thursday, October 13, 2016 (Issue #1)
by Octavias Mckoy, Associate Managing Editor

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It was a great weekend for The UConn Huskies football team. After being embarrassed by the University of Houston’s Cougars, the Huskies returned home and handled business against the 3-3, (0-3 against the AAC), Cincinnati Bearcats 20-9. With the win the Huskies bring their record to .500 on the year at 3-3, (1-2 AAC). It’s easy to see why the Huskies were successful this week, if we take a look at the numbers.

The Huskies out-rushed the Bearcats 188 yards to 2 yards on the ground. Sophomore running-back, Arkeel Newsome led all rushers with 117 yards on just 14 carries, averaging 8.3 yards per carry.

Senior wide receiver Noel Thomas Jr. finished the day with 108 yards receiving on 9 catches, and one touchdown. Senior captain and quarterback Bryant Shirreffs finished the day completing 18 of 33 passes for 224 yards while tossing two touchdowns and just two interceptions. While Shirreffs had a great day, he needs to do a better job 0f hanging on to the ball and not turning it over.

The defense was led by Junior linebacker Jhavon Williams who finished the day with 9 tackles. The Huskies’ offense also won the time of possession battle, hanging on to the ball for 35 minutes and 31 seconds, as opposed to the Bearcats’ 24 minutes and 29 seconds. The Huskies look to keep things rolling as they travel to the University of South Florida this Saturday, Oct. 15 to take on the Bulls at 7p.m. ET.

UConn Men’s Basketball to Tip Off Again

kevin-ollie
Kevin Ollie, head coach of the Uconn men’s basketball team.
(Photo courtesy of News 8 SportzEdge.)

Thursday, October 13, 2016 (Issue #1)
by Steven Wasserman, Sports Editor

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The UConn Men’s Basketball Team is set to kick off their 2016-2017 season when they take on the University of New Haven on October 30th.

Last season proved to be a successful outing for the Huskies. Often overlooked throughout the season, they managed to storm back and win the American Athletic Conference Championship, thereby punching their ticket to the famed NCAA Tournament. The team would defeat Colorado in their opening game in, “The Tournament”, but lose to one of the favorites, Kansas, in their following matchup.

This season could prove to be a little different with some new faces gracing the Huskies’ locker room this season. Seven Huskies departed the dream following last season, including now NBA player Daniel Hamilton of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and fellow NBA hopeful Sterling Gibbs.

However, Huskies fans will remember a few faces from last season’s team, including sophomore guard sensation Jalen Adams. He will be joined by seniors Amida Brimah at Center, and Rodney Purvis at Guard, to make up the core of the 2016-2017 UConn Roster.

Jalen Adams certainly managed to burst on the scene last season as the latest Point Guard sensation in the lore of the UConn Men’s Basketball program. He followed the likes of Khalid El Amin, Kemba Walker, and Shabazz Napier, just to name a few talented Huskies guards from over the years. He will be looking to follow up from a good first year at Storrs and gain the full trust of his coach, Kevin Ollie.

Amida Brimah will have to be one of the leaders on this team, as the Center from Accra, Ghana will be entering his senior season wearing the blue and white of UConn. He was a force to reckon with defensively last season, averaging nearly three blocks per game. He knows what it is like to win at this level, as he was part of that NCAA Championship winning team back in the 2013-2014 season.

Rodney Purvis, a redshirt senior, and one of two transfer students on the roster (Terry Larrier) is T. L. your source, or the other transfer student? will have to keep up the consistent production, as he averaged almost 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists per game last season in his best season with UConn yet. He will certainly be looking to follow that up and prove his worth to Coach Ollie this season.

This team will welcome five new freshmen to the roster: Mamadou Diarra, Juwan Durham, Alterique Gilbert, Vance Jackson, and Christian Vital. Each of these players will look to have big impact in their inaugural season with the Huskies.

Following the success of last season, the Huskies will certainly be looking to have a strong season in 2016/2017. Mixing in all the new pieces to go along with a newfound core will be the challenge that faces Coach Kevin Ollie and this team.