Rookie coach Kevin Ollie was disappointed that Connecticut missed a chance to win a tournament earlier this week. The team has never fallen short when facing one of former coach Jim Calhoun's assistants.
The 21st-ranked Huskies look to improve to 17-0 in such contests on Sunday when Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell will try to help the Seawolves end Connecticut's 39-game winning streak at Gampel Pavilion against non-conference opponents.After rallying from 10 down in the fourth quarter to defeat Quinnipiac -- and former UConn assistant Tom Moore -- 89-83 in double-overtime in last Sunday's semifinal of the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Huskies (4-1) fell 66-60 to New Mexico on Monday.Connecticut made a season-low seven free throws -- it hit a program record-tying 39 in the semifinals -- and grabbed a season-worst 25 rebounds."We just didn't make the plays down the stretch like we've been making," Ollie said after the Huskies were denied a third straight 5-0 start. "They went to the free throw line a bunch (hitting all 21), we didn't get there, conversely, and that's the ballgame."Ollie, though, has to be pleased with his guard play as the Huskies try to improve to 5-0 versus Stony Brook (4-1).Junior Shabazz Napier, the reigning Big East player of the week, and Ryan Boatright were both named to the all-tournament team. Napier averaged team highs of 22.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in the three contests, while Boatright added 15.3 points and 4.0 assists.Those two might have to log even more minutes after senior guard Ryan Evans injured his collarbone in Thursday's practice. The Holy Cross transfer, who is averaging 5.8 points and is second on the team with eight steals, could be out for two weeks or more."He is the veteran of the group," Napier said. "He keeps his composure, he does do much for the team that doesn't get on the stat book that we're going to miss a lot, so a lot of guys gotta step up."Pikiell, who like Ollie was a former Huskie point guard and assistant, faces a tall task as his team will try to hand the Huskies their first non-conference loss at Gampel since March 18, 2001, against Detroit Mercy.Stony Brook could be at an even greater disadvantage as Connecticut plays for the first time in six days, while it is coming off an 82-75 victory over Canisius on Saturday.Junior Anthony Jackson, the team leader with 13.4 points per game, scored a career-best 21 and hit eight of the Seawolves' season-high 27 free throws.They also held a 47-32 rebounding edge, with senior forward Tommy Brenton grabbing 14.Brenton could be a difficult matchup for DeAndre Daniels and Tyler Olander as the Huskies are getting outrebounded by 8.6 per game.The last time these team met, Connecticut held a 59-33 rebounding advantage in a 79-52 victory at Gampel Pavilion on Nov. 12, 2010.Napier scored all 12 of his points on 3-pointers in that contest -- his collegiate debut.