Connecticut comes off perhaps its finest performance of the season. The goal now for the Huskies is to follow it with another good one and not get caught looking ahead to a pair of big games.
The top-ranked Huskies return to Big East play Wednesday night at Gampel Pavilion when they try to continue their recent dominance of Georgetown.
Connecticut (13-1, 1-0 Big East) won its 10th straight Sunday, overpowering previously unbeaten and then-No. 6 Oklahoma 86-59. Emeka Okafor just missed his second triple-double of the season, finishing with 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocked shots.
The Huskies shot 52.3 percent from the field and had 27 assists on their 34 field goals, but it was their defense that stood out the most. UConn held Oklahoma to 27.4 percent shooting, made 12 steals and blocked 11 shots in a game it led by 40 points in the second half.
“One of the officials just said to me that is as good a defense that he’s seen all year, and I would concur,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. “It’s far and away the best defense we’ve played. That’s as close to a 40-minute performance—and as good—at this point in the season as we can play.”
The Huskies must avoid looking past the Hoyas—whom they have defeated six straight times—toward marquee games Saturday and Monday. UConn visits No. 9 North Carolina on Saturday and hosts No. 13 Pittsburgh two days later.
“Hopefully, we can take this and build on it and understand what got us there,” Calhoun said. “What got us there is our defense, which sets up our fast break, which, in turn, sets up everything else for us.”
Okafor was chosen Big East player of the week after averaging 21 points, 13 rebounds and 7.5 blocks in two games. The junior center shot 19-of-30 (63.3 percent) from the floor.
Georgetown (10-2, 1-2) has lost two straight following a 10-0 start. The Hoyas lost 62-58 to West Virginia on Saturday despite 16 points and 12 rebounds from Brandon Bowman.
Gerald Riley leads the Hoyas with 17.2 points per game, while Bowman averages 16.1 points and 6.9 rebounds. Georgetown leads the Big East in turnover margin at plus-7.3, and protecting the ball will be key against UConn’s pressure defense.
Connecticut has won 13 of the last 15 meetings, trimming Georgetown’s lead in the all-time series to 29-22.