UConn's (20-14) season came to a close as the Huskies turned in another middling performance, but this time with their season on the the line. After winning two games in the Big East Tournament to ensure their bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Huskies struggled mightily against Iowa State (23-10) in a 77-64 game, that seemed much worse.
Sophomore guards Jeremy Lamb (22 points) and Shabazz Napier (19 points) led the Huskies who struggled to compete with the Cyclones in the paint. Outside of freshmen guard Ryan Boatright (nine points), no UConn player managed to connect on more than two field goals.
Starting big men Andre Drummond and Alex Oriahki finished with a combined four points and six rebounds, as the pair struggled all evening long. Overall the Huskies lost the battle on the boards 37-20 and allowed the Cyclones to shoot 47 percent (26-of-55) with the majority of the points coming in the paint.
Senior guard Chris Allen poured in a game-high 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting for Iowa State. While senior Scott Christopherson and sophomore Royce White added 15 points apiece. White finished with a double-double with 11 rebounds and also added two assists.
The Cyclones jumped out to a 36-14 lead after 13 minutes, behind a 34-11 run, after UConn grabbed their only lead of the game at 5-4. While the Huskies were able to cut into the deficit and make it a 10 points game at halftime (42-32), they still struggled to show any consistency.
Second half action was much of the same, as the Huskies would put together mini spurts, only to have Iowa State respond with a bigger run of their own. Boatright cut the Iowa State to 58-52 with 8:26 to play on a 3-pointer, but the Cyclones responded with a 7-0 run. In fact over the Huskies would fail to score for the next 5:40 seconds and made their next field goal a full six minutes later.
Iowa State closed the game with 12 straight made free throws to put the Huskies away and end the careers of seniors Ethan Waite, Kyle Bailey and P.J. Cochran. While none of the three players saw a lot of action this year, Jim Calhoun may lose some of his stars like Lamb and Drummond to the NBA Draft this summer.
The Cyclones will take on (1) Kentucky Saturday, after the Wildcats skated by (16) Western Kentucky 81-66.