An Early Showdown in New York

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 27, 2009
UConn's Jim Calhoun yells at the referee after being charged with a technical foul during Friday's game at Madison Square Garden.

UConn's Jim Calhoun yells at the referee after being charged with a technical foul during Friday's game at Madison Square Garden.

NEW YORK (BASN) — It was a heavyweight fight. A game more designed for the Sweet 16 in March than a Thanksgiving weekend contest at Madison Square Garden.

Notwithstanding, Duke beat UConn 68-59 before a nearly sold out and evenly partisan Garden. With the win, the Blue Devils won the Preseason NIT. The game was the first ever played between two coaches with 800 plus wins.

Even with their greatness, they couldn’t help avoiding their teams missing a total of 90 shots. It was a defensive battle from the start. The Huskies controlled tempo with their speed for the first few minutes, but then the Blue Devil defense and height took over.

Duke guard Jon Scheyer was the best player on the court.He ended the game with 19 points and was named the NIT MVP. UConn was led by Jerome Dyson with 15.

UConn coach Jim Calhoun was disgusted with his team’s rebounding and especially the fact that Duke had 25 offensive rebounds which led to many put backs.

The Huskies hit no threes and Duke was 6-of-18 from three-point land. That was a huge 18-point difference in the game. Duke and UConn have played many classics in their nine-game series, including two in the Final Four and one for the National Championship.

UConn had won four straight, but Duke now leads the overall series 5-4. Entering the game, the Blue Devils were ranked seventh in the AP poll and the Huskies 13th.