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Kemba Leads Huskies to Sweet 16
Posted By Wilson Tarpeh Jr. On Mar 20 2011 @ 2:01 am In UConn | No Comments
The Cincinnati Bearcats came out aggressive and in a zone, which was once considered the kryptonite for this Uconn Huskies team. The Bearcats jumped out to a 17-9 lead before Kemba Walker ignited a 15-3 Uconn run to take the lead 24-20. The Bearcats got a big night out of Rashad Bishop who scored 22 points, the Bearcats fought to tie the game at 45 late in the 2nd half. Then Kemba struck again, he hit 2 free throws and then knocked down a 3 to give the Huskies a 5 point lead. Kemba put the dagger in the Bearcats late in the game by stealing a pass and dropping the ball off to Roscoe Smith for the dunk on a fast-break which pushed the lead to 8. The Huskies beat the Bearcats 69-58 in front of a crowd of about 18 thousand( I was included in that count). Jeremy Lamb started slow, but got going in the 2nd half and finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Alex Oriahki didn’t have a great game offensively, but he contributed on the boards by grabbing 11 himself and helping Uconn out-rebound Cincinnati 34-22. Jamal Coombs-McDaniel came off the bench to score 10 points for the Huskies, he did a great job flashing to the top of the zone and knocking down the mid-range jumper. Jeremy Lamb is truly becoming a pleasure to watch, he is already becoming one of those SPECIAL Uconn wings. Lamb moves without the ball extremely well, I got to watch this game in person as well and he does a great job turning the corner when he comes off the pick to gain separation. Think Ray Allen/ Rip Hamilton when you think of this kid, he’s a bit different than those 2 great Huskies. Like Ray and Rip, Jeremy can run ALL day around screens. What I think separates him from them both, is his ability to handle the ball. Please don’t think that I am comparing him to them on the NBA Level, just their styles of play. Lamb is far from a finished product, it’s just incredible that he’s mastering this at such a young age. His ability to come off screens only ENHANCES Uconn’s offense. You could see it tonight, every time teams key on Kemba he makes them pay by finding Jeremy on every curl or down-screen. Kemba’s will is evident in person, he pushes his team to victory. He forces them to match his intensity and those moments when he’s struggling, the kids are the ones telling him to relax. Shabazz Napier did a great job tonight handling the ball throughout all the different traps the Bearcats were using. Napier didn’t turn the rock over ONCE, he dished out 4 assists, grabbed 5 rebounds, scored 3 points, and even had a block!! Kemba finished the game with 33 points, 6 boards, and 5 dimes!! These Huskies definitely responded to the hostile crowd tonight, I never knew Uconn was hated by so many until this week. It was crazy at the Bucknell game on Thursday and the Bearcat fans were extremely rowdy during this game. Uconn plays the #2 seed San Diego State next week in the Sweet 16!!
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